Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Will Michael Vaughan play in this Ashes series?

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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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tim - good to see a thoughtful piece on the implications of Vaughan's possible appearance in the Ashes series. If England are 1-1 or only 2-1 down by Melbourne and Vaughan leads the team on the field, it might just be the mental blow England need to secure at least a draw from the series and thus retain the Ashes. I'm sure Pinting would not want to see his nemesis enter the fray.

Nick (not anonymous) said...

Tim - good to see a thoughtful piece on the implications of Vaughan's possible appearance in the Ashes series. If England are 1-1 or only 2-1 down by Melbourne and Vaughan leads the team on the field, it might just be the mental blow England need to secure at least a draw from the series and thus retain the Ashes. I'm sure Pinting would not want to see his nemesis enter the fray.

Chrispy said...

Vaughan will be welcomed back to the side with open arms. Like u say his average isn't the highest of late (well when he last played!) but his performances in Aus last time and his ability to make big hundreds must make him a sure pick, along with his tactical nous, leadership and also of course for the, "Crickey this is the bloke who captained them to Ashes victory last time out" syndrome amongst the aussie faithful.