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British media faithfully Flintoff's

A fickle British media seems to have shifted loyalties, insinuating in write-ups that the now-injured Vaughan be replaced by Flintoff.

india Updated: Mar 26, 2006 16:34 IST

A fickle British media seems to have shifted loyalties, insinuating in write-upson Sundaythat the now-injured Michael Vaughan be replaced by charismatic all-rounder Andrew Flintoff as England's one-day skipper.

The Observer said just as Nasser Hussain chose to hand over the job to Vaughan at just the right moment, it might be time for Vaughan to step aside for Flintoff.

A report in the Sunday Telegraph said if Flintoff managed to pull off a victory in the seven-match one-day series against India, then the "selectors will find themselves under hideous pressure to hand him the one-day job on a full-time basis."

The Sunday Times said a decision to replace Vaughan could come as early as next month depending on how Flintoff, the inspiration behind England's victory over India in the Mumbai Test, fares as a stand-in leader in the seven one-dayers starting on Tuesday.

"If his game continues to bear up to the triple burden of batting, bowling and captaining, the temptation to let him lead the one-day side through to the World Cup next year could prove irresistible," Simon Wilde wrote.

Most of the ECB's top brass were in India at various stages of the Test series and it was hard to detect any support for Vaughan resuming as captain in both forms if and when he recovers from his knee injury, the report stated.

The newspaper said coach Duncan Fletcher might meet Vaughan in England after the one-day series finishes on April 15 to discuss his future.

"If he tells Vaughan that he does not think he has a future in the one-day game - a format he has rarely excelled at - Vaughan may not be inclined to demur. After the emergence of Alastair Cook and Owais Shah, he may be aware that even his Test place may not be secure for long and his best move might be to concentrate on sustaining his Test career."

Writing in Sunday Telegraph, Mike Atherton, former England captain, said once this tour was over, England's selectors would have to make some hard decisions.

"For example, will Michael Vaughan and Ashley Giles be fit enough to play a full part in both forms of the game?"

Atherton said: "after Flintoff's outstanding performance as stand-in for Vaughan, the captaincy will inspire the most debate, especially as Vaughan is no shoo-in for the team even when fit.

"It is difficult to praise Flintoff's leadership during the Test series too highly. Three weeks ago I wrote that Vaughan was still the best man to lead England to the World Cup. That remains my view, but Flintoff's colossal contribution in India has dispelled any doubts as to who should lead the team should Vaughan's knee not be up to the task."