It’s always been difficult being Michael Vaughan, the captain of England’s one-day side. In spite of some fantastic results he achieved while leading in Tests, his batting and his team’s record under him in the shorter version have never been very impressive.
So, it was was expected he would be peppered with uncomfortable questions after Tuesday’s catastrophe and Vaughan admitted there was need for some brainstorming.
“I still believe I’m a good captain in one-dayers. At the same time, my batting has been bad,” he said. “I can’t answer why it has been so and maybe we should all sit down and decide who the best captain can be.”
There were bound to be questions on whether there was need for a rethink on the coaching front as well and predictably, Vaughan spoke much without saying anything specific. “Duncan Fletcher is an incredibly good coach and still has a lot to offer. It’s the players who have to perform. We’ve done that in Tests but not in the one-dayers.”
Batting has been England’s main problem in this competition and it was no different against South Africa. “We were looking at something around 240 and at 110-odd for three with 18 overs to go, we were on course. The famous collapse let us down, as has been our story in this World Cup.”
English fans had outnumbered South Africans at Kensington Oval on Tuesday and Vaughan had a word of thanks for them as well. “The atmosphere they created was unbelievable. We apologise for letting them down. There are no excuses.”
There was very little scope for any, given the fact that none expected England to emerge as serious contenders and that they hardly ever let their performance suggest otherwise. It will take some upheaval at some level for them to resurface as a one-day outfit that can beat established teams in competitions of this stature.