Vaughan wants Bairstow dropped, Ballance selected

England

Former captain Michael Vaughan has insisted England choose the uncapped Gary Ballance – and drop batsman Jonny Bairstow – ahead of Monday's Ashes squad announcement.

Former captain Michael Vaughan has insisted England choose the uncapped Gary Ballance – and drop batsman Jonny Bairstow – ahead of Monday's Ashes squad announcement.

Bairstow struggled against the Australians earlier this year, while Ballance's form has been outstanding at county level this season. The right-handed James Taylor, however, sports an outside chance of selection.

"Personally I would not pick Bairstow. He has a serious technical issue with his batting that he needs to iron out away from the glare of an Ashes series," Vaughan wrote in <i>the Telegraph</i>.

"The spare batsman is a tricky selection but I would go for Gary. I have seen enough of him to know he can play in Australia because he has a good back-foot game. He has a calm nature and stands out on his own in the way he wins games for Yorkshire in all forms of the game.

"It would be harsh on Taylor, but Ballance also gives that left-hand option which, with a top order of Alastair Cook, Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell, needs one more left-hander."

Spinner Monty Panesar's chances of a recall, however, have increased. Panesar was released by Sussex on disciplinary grounds last month, after urinating on a security guard at a Brighton nightclub.

He has since joined Essex, bowling well enough to sit above fellow slow bowlers James Tredwell and Simon Kerrigan pecking order as the veteran Graeme Swann's understudy.

"Three weeks ago I had James in my squad but we saw in the ODI series that Australia will rip him apart. He has hardly taken any wickets for Kent and you can't go on an Ashes tour on back of form like that. Simon needs to go with the performance squad to work on his action leaving England with no option but to pick Monty," added Vaughan.

The uncapped Ben Stokes and Boyd Rankin, too, are likely to be selected instead of the inexperienced Chris Woakes and tall Chris Tremlett. Stokes' favour will add to the ranks of the all-rounders, while Rankin's height and ability to extract additional bounce will be well suited to pitches in Australia.

"Ben offers that alternative. Australia did not plan for Shane Warne's retirement. England now have the opportunity to develop a plan for life after Swann and Stokes fits into that by offering another bowling option," concluded Vaughan.

"The majority of England's seam attack picks itself but I do not see how Chris comes into the equation ahead of Boyd. I do not think Tremlett has done enough and you cannot pick someone on history."

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