Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Vaughan Must Get His Men Back on a High

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Vaughan Must Get His Men Back on a High

Article excerpt


MICHAEL VAUGHAN'S roller-coaster ride as England captain has already taken in some spectacular highs and several stomach-churninglows.

But, after five weeks of relatively straight and narrow travelling in Bangladesh, Vaughan is braced for another bumpy journey.

England did not quite plumb new depths yesterday while losing to Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in Dambulla. They have 'achieved' that result twice before in the last three years. And, thanks mainly to a bit of grit and determination from Ashley Giles, their record one-day low score of 86 - against Australia at Old Trafford in 2001 - remains intact.

Vaughan, though, was in no mood to search for silver linings last night after England had hurtled to 88 all out and then been polished off inside 14 overs.

It was a gruesomely grim performance on a poor but by no means unplayable pitch and the captain would not entertain any excuses about lack of preparation or being caught in the comfort zone.

What Vaughan can cling to, though, is the fact that England have already made a good habit under his leadership of hitting back hard following a dire display.

They did it, of course, twice during last summer's Test series with South Africa after he had been thrust into the hot seat by Nasser Hussain's sudden resignation.

The manner of the wins at Trent Bridge and The Oval suggested Vaughan made his presence felt in and around the dressing room once the dust had settled on defeats at Lord's and Headingley.

More relevant to the present situation, though, is the way England responded to adversity during last summer's one-day internationals.

A young team containing most members of the current squad launched Vaughan's reign with a depressing defeat by Pakistan at Old Trafford, only to retaliate with two good victories.

Then, during the NatWest triangular tournament, losses to Zimbabwe and South Africa threatened to burst the new skipper's bubble. Again, though, the response was positive and Vaughan collected a second trophy following an emphatic Lord's victory over South Africa. …

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