Vaughan guards against complacency
England captain Michael Vaughan is warning his team against complacency in the tri-series opener against Zimbabwe at Trent Bridge on Thursday.Updated: Jun 26, 2003 00:36 IST
England captain Michael Vaughan is warning his team against complacency in the tri-series opener against Zimbabwe at Trent Bridge on Thursday.
Under former skipper Nasser Hussain, England hammered the tourists convincingly in the two-test series inside just six days by innings margins.
But Vaughan, the leader of the new-look one-day side, remains wary of Zimbabwe- a team that qualified for the Super Sixes at the recent World Cup in Africa.
Two players in particular- skipper Heath Streak and batsman Grant Flower- concern Vaughan the most. Between them, the pair boast 364 one-day internationals and 8,298 runs and 295 wickets- a lot more than the entire England squad can muster. "In the last few years Zimbabwe have proved that they're a good one-day team," Vaughan said. "They've got guys who've been around the one-day arena for a long time. They'll be a tough nut to crack."
England's tournament expectations have been lifted by Sunday's come-from-behind 2-1 series win over Pakistan but Vaughan refused to get carried away.
The reward for winning the 10-match tournament- while remaining unbeaten- is a shared third place in the one-day championship with Pakistan.
The third team in the tournament is South Africa, ranked No.2 in the world. The South Africans will play England at The Oval on Saturday.
Vaughan, who took over from Hussain after England's first-round elimination from the World Cup, paid tribute to his young players for their new-found success.
"We've asked for character from the young players and they all seem to have it," he said. "There's been an influx of energy in the field with the young guys.
"Vikram Solanki, Jim Troughton and Rikki Clarke are outstanding . . . and the whole buzz of the side helps me captain." Meanwhile, Streak is determined not to let England dominate his team again.
"We realize it's going to be hard, but we believe we can compete in the series," he said. "I'm confident the guys will come out there and prove to everyone that they are better than what we saw in the test series.
"We can be a more competitive team, with the capability of beating sides in one-day cricket."
The tourists are weakened by the absence of No.3 batsman Stuart Carlisle, who suffered a broken right thumb and will miss the series.
"The last few weeks have given us a bit of time to regroup," said Streak. "There have been one or two youngsters who have come in and joined the squad, and we've needed to work on finding some new combinations."
England have released allrounder Kabir Ali to return to county cricket before rejoining the squad in time for Saturday's game against South Africa at The Oval.
England (from): Michael Vaughan (captain), Marcus Trescothick, Vikram Solanki, Andrew Flintoff, James Troughton, Anthony McGrath, Rikki Clarke, Chris Read, Ashley Giles, Darren Gough, James Anderson, Robert Key, Richard Johnson and Steve Harmison.
Zimbabwe (from): Heath Streak (captain), Tatenda Taibu, Dion Ebrahim, Grant Flower, Sean Ervine, Travis Friend, Andy Blignaut, Douglas Hondo, Ray Price, Douglas Marillier, Gary Brent, Waddington Mwayenga, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Charles Coventry and Richard Sims.
Umpires: Billy Bowden, New Zealand, and Peter Willey, England.
Television umpire: Neil Mallender.
Match referee: Clive Lloyd, West Indies.
First Published: Jun 25, 2003 17:11 IST