Giles hints Stokes, Rankin may strengthen `return Ashes` claims
London: England`s limited overs coach Ashley Giles has reportedly hinted that bowler Boyd Rankin and all-rounder Ben Stokes may still strengthen their claims for a place in the squad for the return Ashes series with their performances in the one-day series defeat by Australia.
According to The Guardian, although Giles admitted that it will take some time for them to decide the squad as the selectors will need to make important decisions, there are still places up for grabs in the 16-man squad to tour Australia, and hinted that the performances of Rankin and Stokes in the ODIs may help their chances.
Giles further said that they need to pick a squad consisting of players who are all capable of playing a part in the series, adding that the towering height of Northern Irishman Rankin, who conceded only 106 runs from 29 overs at a rate of 3.63 per over in the ODIs, and his bowling talent are important attributes for England while playing in Australia.
Giles also hailed the performances of Durham player Stokes, who impressed with both bat and ball during the ODIs, and said that Stokes has shown a lot of maturity in the ODI series, which might be the result of lessons learnt from the England Lions tour of Australia last winter, from which he was sent home for an alcohol-related indiscretion.
According to Giles, Stokes has stepped up to the role of third seamer and has also excelled with the bat, adding that he believes that Stokes is an impressive athlete, one of the best fielders in the world and can be put in the elite market with his all-round skills.