Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stricken Vaughan's Day Goes from Bad to Worse

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stricken Vaughan's Day Goes from Bad to Worse

Article excerpt


BY DAVID LLOYD Cricket Correspondent, in Baroda

MICHAEL VAUGHAN'S day began badly and went downhill from there as England struggled to find a single note of encouragement on either fitness or form fronts.

Vaughan's latest knee injury is the biggest worry of all, given his medical record, but the captain has more than that to bother him tonight.

Kevin Pietersen was forced to retire hurt with a back problem after making 47 against the President's XI here today while a third batsman, Paul Collingwood, is still not fit to play as a result of damaging his back during last weekend's practice game in Mumbai.

And, just when England were hoping Glamorgan fast bowler Simon Jones could step up his return from last October's ankle operation, an upset stomach sidelined him.

At one stage, assistant coach Matthew Maynard had to field as a substitute for the depleted tourists. But all might not have seemed quite so gloomy for them if those still standing had set about what was effectively an India A side.

Instead, with Pietersen topscoring and almost everyone else failing to build on starts, England flopped to 238 all out - and then saw their opponents reach 93 for one in reply.

With the First Test only six days away, there is no great cause for confidence this evening, and the selectors must surely consider sending for someone like Essex batsman Alastair Cook as a reinforcement. Hopefully, Vaughan's "soreness" will prove to be nothing worse than a minor reaction to having put his knee under pressure again following keyhole surgery last December. But it is an alarming setback.

"I'm very positive about the knee," said the 31-year-old batsman before boarding the plane for Mumbai on 12 February.

"It feels as good as it has done for a long time so I don't see it being a problem."

In fact, the "problem" returned to haunt England's captain and his team straight after the opening match, which finished on Monday. …

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