Michael Vaughan returned on Sunday as England captain and stated his aim was to restore the shattered confidence of the team following their 5-0 Ashes Test series whitewash to Australia.
Vaughan, who missed the Ashes debacle after knee surgery mid-year, replaced Andrew Flintoff as England captain for the triangular one-day series starting later this week against Australia and New Zealand.
Vaughan, who became a national hero when he led England to the 2005 Ashes victory over Australia, will have his first match back at the helm in Tuesday’s international Twenty20 match against Australia in Sydney.
“I am sure they will be a little bit affected by what’s happened over the last few weeks, but my job as the captain is to challenge them and to try and raise the confidence,” Vaughan told a press conference here on Sunday.
I will try to get them to go out on the cricket pitch and express themselves so we can produce some good results,” he added.
Vaughan, whose last match for England was in the third Lahore Test against Pakistan in November 2005, has been in Australia during the Ashes series testing his knee in a couple of low-key practice games.
“It’s a good feeling to be back playing, it’s great to be in the squad and an added bonus that I am reinstated as the England cricket captain in circumstances which are very different to when I first got the job,” he said.
“What I have now is two and a half years of experience … so I feel I am in a good position to carry on as the captain,” he explained.
“The team have had a real tough time in Australia, Australia played good cricket and we realise that we’ve made a few mistakes and not played to the standard of what we expect,” he added.
Vaughan said Flintoff, who was outstanding in England’s 2005 Ashes victory but struggled with the burden of the captaincy in the recent series, was an integral part of the England team.
“Andrew Flintoff can play a huge leadership role as a player as he did when I was captain before,” he said.
“I just want to see him contributing with both bat and ball, in the field and in the dressing room, because that’s where he leads from the best,” he added.
Vaughan feared his cricket career was over after a fourth operation on his right knee last July.
“Six months ago I was told I would probably not play again, so to be sitting here again knowing that I’m going to be playing a game for England on Tuesday is a great thing for me,” he said.
“It’s been a hard road but since I’ve been in Australia I’ve tested it on a daily basis. I would have liked to have played a few more games, if I’m honest, but I haven’t been able to organise those games,” he explained.
“But the games I have played, the twisting and the turning, the running between the wickets, the overs I have had in the field, I’ve had no reaction (to the knee),” he revealed.
“The big test now is international cricket, of going out there and just playing games, trying to react to the situation. I’m very confident that I will be able to get through them. I think the more games I play the stronger the knee and the stronger I will become,” he added.
Vaughan has a huge task to resurrect the fragile England team and to improve England’s wretched recent One-day International (ODI) record of only five wins in 19 games last year.
Source:The NewsMore on:Australia, england, Michael Vaughan
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