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Vaughan set for England return

PTI | ByJulian Guyer (AFP), London
May 31, 2004 12:20 PM IST

The captain missed England's seven-wicket win in the first Test at Lord's due to a knee injury.

England captain Michael Vaughan was named in the squad on Sunday for the second Test against New Zealand at his Headingley home ground starting on Thursday.

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Yorkshire batsman Vaughan missed England's seven-wicket first Test win at Lord's concluded last Monday with a knee injury after falling in the nets.

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However, he hopes to prove his fitness during a one-day match for his county against Scotland on Monday.

The only change to the squad of 13 announced ahead of Lord's saw Andrew Strauss come in for the now retired Nasser Hussain.

Middlesex captain Strauss was only called up for Lord's following Vaughan's injury and the left-handed opener marked his Test debut in spectacular style by making 112 and 83.

Former England captain Hussain, who after running out Strauss in the second innings went on to make a match-winning unbeaten century, subsequently announced his retirement from all cricket.

Hussain left England with a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.

Now the major dilemma facing the England selectors, if Vaughan is fit, is to whether restore the captain to his usual opening role where he has formed a reliable partnership with Somerset left-hander Marcus Trescothick.

However, after his brilliant debut, England may want to keep Strauss at the top of the order and bat Vaughan at number four.

But England's chairman of selectors, David Graveney, indicated they were happy to leave the decision to Vaughan, who has scored 10 hundreds in 31 Tests as an opener at an average of 49.7.

Trescothick has managed just five hundreds in 48 appearances but Vaughan has experience of batting elsewhere after starting his England career in the middle-order.

"Following the retirement of Nasser Hussain and Andrew Strausss superb performance on debut, the future shape of our batting order was discussed by the selectors," Graveney said in a statement on Sunday.

"Ultimately, however, we believe that this decision should be the captains call and his input into the discussion will be crucial."

Looking ahead, Graveney added nothing could be taken for granted at Headingley where England were beaten by South Africa last year after losing a Test against India there in 2002.

"Our win in the first Test was an outstanding team effort and we will need to maintain the same level of performance at Headingley, a ground where we have under-performed in the last two years.

"New Zealand are tough opponents and should not be underestimated," Graveney insisted. "The last time they toured here in 1999, they lost the first Test but then went onto win the series 2-1 and I am sure they will come back hard at Headingley."

Squad: Michael Vaughan (capt), James Anderson, Mark Butcher, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Ashley Giles, Stephen Harmison, Matthew Hoggard, Geraint Jones (wkt), Simon Jones, Andrew Strauss, Graham Thorpe, Marcus Trescothick.

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