Sunday, January 07, 2007

Michael Vaughan back as England captain

The BBC reports:

Michael Vaughan has replaced Andrew Flintoff as England captain for the one-day series in Australia.
One's natural reaction to this move is pleasure or even relief. But is it such a good idea?

First, there is the worry that Vaughan's knee will not stand up to a one-day series against Australia and the subsequent World Cup. And if it goes again, then that will probably be the end of his career. Are we risking this long-term disaster in an attempt to avoid embarrassment over the next couple of months.

Second, there is the fact that Vaughan has never been a terribly good limited overs player. As the BBC says:
In 74 matches, the Yorkshire man has yet to score a century, averaging 28 with a top score of 90, which was against Zimbabwe in December 2004.
So, whatever Vaughan's virtues as a captain, it is unlikely that his batting will make that much difference.

Third, is his hurried recall really an attempt by the selectors to put off having to make a long-term decision about the test match captaincy? That appears to be a straight fight between Flintoff and Strauss, with recent events in Australia suggesting that it is Strauss who should win.

But taking the captaincy away from Flintoff and giving it to Strauss would be a public humiliation for Freddie. So is giving it to Vaughan just a risky way of letting Flintoff down gently?


Paul Linford said...

I think you are absolutely spot on in your analysis Jonathan. Vaughan does not merit a place in the one-day side on either form, fitness or his one-day record. This is simply a way of managing the inevitable transition to the Strauss captaincy era without too many bruised egos.

AverageEarthman said...

Hasn't done *that* badly with the bat in the Twenty20 though (certainly compared to Joyce and Flintoff), and didn't drop any sitters (unlike Lewis and Pietersen). Pity the Aussies did so much better in their innings.