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Sight Screen

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Vaughan gone?

On his Corridor of Uncertainty blog, Will argues that Michael Vaughan's forced absence from England's ODI squad is no big loss:
He’s carrying a groin injury at the moment, facing a late fitness test. And despite his 50 the other day, he continues to baffle the world at his inability to play ODI cricket. Immense class, but England need quick runs, not stodgy ones. It’s an almost identical situation to when Michael Atherton was in the side: he just wasn’t made for ODI cricket and, unless Vaughan starts scoring soon, Marcus Trescothick (or Andrew Flintoff?) might well take up the ODI captaincy.

Point well taken -- but on the day, Vaughan's replacement outdid his captain. At number three in a game of this kind, you didn't need Vikram Solanki going 34 off 69 with 47 dot balls in there -- and crucially, just five singles, pointing to an inability to get the strike across to the other guy.
In the Times (the London one, not the desi version which puts up links to stories without stories in them), Richard Hobson has an interesting take on the Vaughan question: he argues that the England captain may not be the hottest ticket in the shorter game, but to remove him from the captaincy (as prelude to removing him from the team) could be counter-productive:
In his guise as an opener, Vaughan was prone to be too aggressive too soon. It is always difficult to find the right tempo in the first 15 overs with fielding restrictions in place. His problem at No 3 has been piercing the inner ring. He does not scrape and scratch out runs in the ugly manner of Nasser Hussain, the former captain.
Yet the experience of Hussain ought to remind of the pitfalls of split captains. He never recovered true authority of the Test side once he retired from the one-day game after the 2003 World Cup. Regardless of the result this summer, England cannot afford to jeopardise enormous potential as a Test team by separating the captaincy roles again.

Moving on, Shane Warne in his column in the Times (you know the one I don't mean) says it's too soon to be writing the Aussie epitaph.
Our batsmen and bowlers have not found their rhythm so far. But is anybody really surprised? Let’s put this into perspective. Most of the guys had gone something like nine weeks without competitive cricket before they arrived. McGrath always says that he gets better as he plays, so I expect we will soon see an improvement from him. Jason Gillespie and Mike Kasprowicz also need overs behind them.

Elsewhere, on Fox Sports, this story taking Ricky Ponting to task for lying. A bit much, surely? I mean, bloke wanders in half drunk, on the morning of a game; as captain, he would want the team management to haul the player up, look into his case, decide the punishment, then make a formal announcement. In the morning, he drops the player's name from the team list and when he's asked why, what's he supposed to say? Just an off-hand 'Oh, he's a touch under the weather', as place-holder till the enquiry is complete, and a full statement can be released. (A full statement *was* released) Not quite the same as hiding the confession of the two amateur weathermen, Mark Waugh and Shane Warne, surely?
Off topic, while wandering through the Corridor of Uncertainty, found this link to another blog, which has the story of the Shane Watson-Kevin Pietersen to-do.

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