'You are only seven Tests away from an Ashes': Michael Vaughan makes heartfelt appeal to England ahead of NZ series
Test cricket is back. On Wednesday, June 2, Joe Root's England will take on Kane Williamson-led New Zealand in the first Test of the two-match series. The match will be played at the historic Lord's cricket ground. Later in December, the English side will play the Ashes against Australia and former captain Michael Vaughan has already voiced a piece of strong advice for the current lot.
Former England captain Vaughan would like to see the team management pick the best possible playing XI and he wants his countrymen to concentrate on winning the Test series against the Black Caps instead of thinking too much about the Ashes.
It becomes all the more important for the hosts to get back to winning ways as they suffered a 1-3 thrashing at the hands of Team India earlier this year. But the task, however, will not be easy for them as they will be without the services of numerous stars.
Michael Vaughan has urged the England team management to pick their best possible side for the upcoming two-match Test series against New Zealand. Vaughan wants England to concentrate on winning the Test series against the Kiwis instead of thinking too much about the Ashes, which will start in December. While Chris Woakes, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler have been rested by the ECB, Jofra Archer and star all-rounder Ben Stokes are out due to injuries.
Moreover, the team lost wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes to injury recently which means James Bracey could make his debut at the iconic venue.
Yet, Vaughan has urged the English side to go out there to win.
"Don't worry about six months' time, just try to win now, [England boss] Chris Silverwood just has to make the right call, and pick a team that can win. It was like a different game out in India, but when you are only seven Tests away from an Ashes you just have to get back to winning ways," Michael Vaughan said on the Tuffers and Vaughan podcast.
England's rotation policy has often come under scrutiny as head coach Chris Silverwood has often fielded a side without his star players in order to follow the policy. Vaughan, however, further stated that he wants to see them play premier pace bowlers in James Anderson and Stuart Broad regularly.
"I would personally go for [James] Anderson, [Stuart] Broad and [Mark] Wood this week, and Jack Leach - those are four bowlers I believe I can trust in all conditions. I've been very vocal in the last two years about not playing Anderson and Broad together and making sure that you are building. But I am at the stage now, with seven Tests to go, where the building should have been done and it is now about getting a team to play and win so they get down to Australia with that winning mentality," Michael Vaughan added
Following this series, England will host India for a five-match Test series.