Former England captain Michael Vaughan had three bold recommendations for England’s upcoming tour of Australia, the Ashes 2021-22. Vaughan expects a full-strength squad to be picked now that Joe Root has committed himself to the series.
There were a lot of issues surrounding the possibility of the Ashes. The quarantine restrictions in Australia are quite strict but after a few discussions between the two boards, England’s first-choice players are now available to be picked. Vaughan suggested three players – Liam Livingstone, Matt Parkinson, and Saqib Mahmood – to be given a chance on the tour.
“With Jos Buttler or Jonny Bairstow at six, Livingstone can come in with a swagger and intimidate at seven. He bowls a bit of spin that could be handy on days four or five. He is a brilliant fielder and he has that arrogance and confidence you need in Australia so I would have him in the squad. He averages just under 40 with the bat in first-class cricket, numbers that are not very different to the others, so why not look at him as an all-round cricketer.”
“Those picked ahead of him recently are not much better technically than Livingstone. In fact, he might even be better. He has the confidence and believes in himself which is what the highest level is all about. He would make a good backup player and he has a higher ceiling of potential than many of the others being picked at the moment, so why not go with him? Also, surely you want a 12th man in the field who can create something,” Vaughan said.
“Matt Parkinson is the next best after Jack Leach” – Michael Vaughan
Apart from Jack Leach, England doesn’t have a potent spinner. However, this is the time to nurture and give opportunities to the new candidates, like Matt Parkinson for example. Vaughan expects Parkinson to be given a chance to learn the trade in tough conditions.
“Parkinson is the next best after Jack Leach. Australia is a good tour for his development because you would not look to play him at the start. He gives the ball a chance, plenty of flight, and a good rip. Look, we are not stocked full of high-class spinners so why not try and develop a player this winter like Parkinson. By taking him to Australia you hope he learns to understand Test cricket,” Vaughan further added.
“Saqib Mahmood is talked about as the most skillful of the younger bowlers” – Michael Vaughan
The former Ashes-winning skipper, Vaughan, mentioned that England’s best pace option among the youngsters is Saqib Mahmood. Vaughan revealed that the legendary pacer, James Anderson, also spoke highly of the 24-year-old Saqib.
“He is talked about as the most skillful of the younger bowlers coming through. England missed a chance to play him in the summer when they went with Craig Overton instead. I’ve heard from good sources that of all the quicks he is the one with the confidence and potential to have a career in all formats across all conditions. Jimmy Anderson speaks very highly of him,” Vaughan concluded.
The three players mentioned have represented the national side in the white-ball format. But they’re yet to be given a chance in the Tests.