Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mr Big

News this morning that Michael Vaughan has now decided that he wants to bat number three, suggesting that he swaps places with Andrew Strauss.

Oh, really? How do you think that plays with other specialist openers around the country, who are increasingly seeing the England top six as a private club, and now see that places in the order seemingly at the gift of the captain, who has to be accomodated wherever he wants. Carberry and Key for example, might think that they could do a better job at the top of the order than Lord Snooty - and both of them would be a better 'fit' to open with Alistair Cook.

In some respects this swap does actually make a certain amount of sense, but there's a tangible whiff of 'cosy clique' about the whole thing. What happens when Vaughan decides that he can't stand the heat of batting three anymore and decides he wants to drop down to No. 6? (Much like Bell has been allowed to do.)

Vaughan's comments are quite instructive; -

"You have real periods in your career which probably go beyond your normal and
2002-2003 was a stage where everything went incredibly well for me. That
period can come back again."

Again - oh, really? There seems to be a ludicrous amount of clutching at straws here - almost a denial that he's getting old, and a denial that he's ever had any injury troubles. You have to admire the optimism, but he's talking about a period over five years ago, when he was a fully fit Michael Vaughan, without the pressure of captaincy.

We've already had Vaughan still thinking he's capable of playing ODI cricket (we'll see how often his creaky fielding and 'steady strokeplay get him picked to play 20/20 for Yorkshire this summer shall we...) - and also coming out and saying that he thinks there should be the same England skipper for all forms of the game - presumably him...

There's no doubting that he's been an inspirational leader, and is, probably, the best captain this current team could have - but there's equally no doubt that he benefitted hugely from all the hard work done by Nasser and Duncan Fletcher and by the fact that Freddie morphed into Superman for a couple of years.


Jrod said...

Perhaps for Vaughn it's not the number he bats at that is the problem, but rather the number he ends with.

harry said...

Frankly I'm sick of this Captain Fantastic thing.
His own analysis, identifying his best period (some 5 years ago) as being "beyond normal" is interesting. Everyone who plays sport, at any level, has a purple patch. Selectors should try to pick guys who are approaching, or in, their purple patch. Plus, of course, the gifted few whose "normal" is exceptional.
The notion that certain players are selected because they had a purple patch five years ago and - who knows? - it might come back is ludicrous.

There are captaincy alternatives out there who can open, aren't there, Kent fans?
And for No. 3, why not pick the guy whose purple patch is heading towards averaging 100+ for 3 seasons in a row? Or, in the spirit of selecting players because of how they batted several seasons ago, is this permanently chap barred?