Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Vaughan's Hopes Are Still of a High Order

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Vaughan's Hopes Are Still of a High Order

Article excerpt


MICHAEL VAUGHAN was probably as amused as anyone when Nasser Hussain went half crazy at Lord's two years ago after scoring a century.

Vaughan's predecessor as England captain had been quietly simmering following general concern about his one-day form and particular criticism of his determination to bat at No3.

Then, on posting a hundred during the 2002 NatWest triangular tournament final against India, Hussain went wild with joy, leaping around Lord's like a man possessed in celebration of a point well proved.

Well, no one believes Vaughan is anything but a plus for England, no matter where he bats.

And the chances of him copying Hussain's unforgettable celebration when he makes his first one-day international century - be it this week, this summer or sometime in the further future - can be discounted.

England's still relatively new leader does not wear his heart on his sleeve quite as clearly as the old boss.

There's no doubt, though, that Vaughan has become a little peeved by repeated questioning of his decision to open the batting in one-day cricket.

He went into today's must-win match against the West Indies at Lord's boasting just 39 runs from his previous four innings in the NatWest Series - and with an increasing number of critics wondering why he doesn't revert to Test planning and occupy the No4 slot.

"I think you'll find Andrew Strauss is doing pretty well at No4," was one rather terse comment when the subject was raised again ahead of a game which will be England's last in this season's competition if they lose it. True enough.

Strauss has been England's most consistent batsman of a generally low-scoring tournament, managing contributions of 43, eight, 44 not out and 61.

But plenty of folk - middle order Test maestro Graham Thorpe among them - believe the team would be better served by Vaughan and Strauss swopping places.

The truth is, though, that Vaughan has not yet been able to make a decent mark on the international oneday stage no matter where he's batted.

Today's match was his 49th limitedovers international-spread across three-and-a-half During that time he has batted in every position from opener to No5. …

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