It seems that Michael Vaughan’s fitness battle is going most encouragingly; he today said he would be ready to play in the Third Test. The mere prospect of him participating in the Ashes is intriguing; he is, after all, the only current player, save for Mark Ramprakash, to have had success in Australia. His exploits in 2002/03 were nothing short of superlative. Batting with trademark elegance and taking the fight to the Australian bowlers, Vaughan plundered 633 runs and was named Man of the Series despite the fact that England were palpably outclassed.
But what of the captaincy? He still officially remains the England skipper, despite having not played for 11 months. Yet Andrew Flintoff has been chosen to lead the side’s Ashes defence. And, if Vaughan were to play but not be skipper, would he be a ‘sleeping skipper’, just as Shane Warne was last summer?
While undeniably England’s classiest batsman, asking Vaughan to play a Test Match with just three days of tour cricket (just before the Third Test) behind him is perhaps too much, though if he could spend time with the Academy then the Boxing Day Test would appear a possibility.
If there are injuries in England’s batting line-up and doubts over some of Collingwood, Bell, Cook and Trescothick, then who people to call upon than a man with such pedigree against Australia? In such a scenario, it would be unfair to take the captaincy aware from Flintoff, unless England were performing egregiously. Vaughan’s tactical nous (even if he wasn’t captain), in addition to his experience of excelling against Australia and sheer class, could conceivably prove decisive in the final two Tests.
Tagged with: Michael Vaughan, captaincy, Ashes 2006/07