Michael Vaughan will tomorrow play for an England side again. As low-key comebacks go, a one-day match for the England Academy against Western Australia 2nd 11 is right up there. But, suddenly talk of him appearing in the Ashes doesn’t seem so fanciful.
The Melbourne Test begins on 26th December, exactly a month from now. Playing a Test match, even one in the Ashes, after a month of being fit doesn’t seem the slightest bit ludicrous.
If Marcus Trescothick was available, Vaughan’s chances of selection would appear only negligible. Yet the lack of an experienced batsman, together with England’s woeful opening Test performance, means the chances of the 2005 Ashes-winning captain appearing down under this time must be considered very real, even if he is palpably still odds-against to play.
Vaughan, of course, has brilliant memories of Australia, having scored 633 runs in 2002/03 playing some of the most authoritative and elegant shots ever seen in Australia; his handling of Stuart MacGill in the last two Tests was particularly memorable.
He is still officially England’s captain (though Andrew Flintoff was appointed for the tour itself) and, at 31, could conceivably play for another Ashes cycle. His batting may have been consistently disappointing of late – he averages less than 30 in his last 12 Tests (excluding Bangladesh) – but his tactical dexterity, together with his undeniably batting grace, could yet be an important part of this series. And, whether he plays in this series or not, Michael Vaughan has not played his last game for England.
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