Vaughan Hits Back at Claims His 'Cosy' Team Are Taking It Too Easy; on Target: Michael Vaughan Takes Part in a Fielding Drill and Is Confident Andrew Strauss and Monty Panesar (below) Will Produce the Goods in the Second Test Which Begins Today

The Evening Standard (London, England), May 23, 2008 | Go to article overview
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Vaughan Hits Back at Claims His 'Cosy' Team Are Taking It Too Easy; on Target: Michael Vaughan Takes Part in a Fielding Drill and Is Confident Andrew Strauss and Monty Panesar (below) Will Produce the Goods in the Second Test Which Begins Today


Byline: David Lloyd

MICHAEL VAUGHAN insists his England team will feel comfy at Old Traffordthis week, but not cosy.

After winning four of their last five Tests in Manchesterand having Australia hanging on for a draw in the other gameEngland could not wish for a more welcoming venue when they go into today'ssecond match of the npower Test series against New Zealand.

On top of that, with the team due to be unchanged for the fourth consecutivecontest, a selection policy centred on consistency is again evident, just likeit was in 2005 when the Ashes were won.

But it can be a thin line between showing loyalty and encouraging complacency.

And with England having failed to make 400 in the first innings of any of theirlast 10 Tests, the management could be accused of making too few changes overthe last year. Andrew Strauss is the only member of the top six to have beendroppedand he was swiftly reinstated. Cosiness is an accusation strongly denied byVaughan, though.

"I certainly don't think it's cosy," said the captain. "I see the way the ladstrain and I don't see any complacency in any of the batsmen.

"Sometimes you can look too deeply into it and try too hard. What the lads haveto do is just play, express their talent and react to the situation.

"If they can do that, big scores will be just around the corner. With thestrength in depth we have, no one's place in the team is guaranteed. But thisis the fourth game on the bounce we've been able to announce the same team andI always feel comfortable when we can do that on a consistent basis.

"A few years ago we did it [2005] and achieved great results.

"We feel very comfortable in each other's company at the minute. We are gettingto know each other a lot better and that's very important if you want to go onand be a really good team.

"But it is about winning and we do want to get those big scores on the board inthe first innings. Hopefully this week will be the start of that." Having beenin trouble at Lord's, New Zealand ended up with an honourable draw. OldTrafford, with its fast and bouncy surface, will be a different challenge forthe tourists, though.

"We've had some good results here over the last few years and I'm hoping foranother performance like those to put New Zealand under pressure so hopefullywe can go one up next Monday or Tuesday," said Vaughan.

"We feel very comfortable here as a team. The pitch is always a good one and itusually has plenty of pace. It offers a lot for Monty Panesar and there areopportunities for batsmen as well." Despite having always played for Yorkshire,Vaughan was born in Manchester and has made big runs for club and country atOld Traffordincluding 166 against Australia in 2005.

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Vaughan Hits Back at Claims His 'Cosy' Team Are Taking It Too Easy; on Target: Michael Vaughan Takes Part in a Fielding Drill and Is Confident Andrew Strauss and Monty Panesar (below) Will Produce the Goods in the Second Test Which Begins Today
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