England set to rest Vaughan and Flintoff

England are expected to resist the temptation to select a less than fully fit Andrew Flintoff and Michael Vaughan today, when they announce their squad for the NatWest one-day series against Sri Lanka. The move, despite Vaughan scoring 99 yesterday for Yorkshire against Middlesex, makes sense and selecting either player would be as foolhardy as Sven Goran Eriksson playing Wayne Rooney against Paraguay on Saturday.

Vaughan's batting appears to be in good shape but striking the ball cleanly is the least of his worries. The England captain's problems arise when he runs between the wickets and dives around in the field. It is the uncontrolled twisting and turning of the joint that will cause him discomfort, as it did on several occasions yesterday at Southgate.

England may feel under pressure to rush back Vaughan following Monday's Test defeat by Sri Lanka, but exposing him so early in his rehabilitation to the circus that is one-day cricket would be irresponsible. England's resources are currently stretched to the limit but they can live without Vaughan for another month. A more realistic comeback date would be 13 July, when England take on Pakistan in the first Test at Lord's.

England delayed announcing their one-day squad by a day in order to collect more information from specialists on the state of Flintoff's left ankle, but the selectors should not even consider playing him in the NatWest series. The fragments of bone floating around in Flintoff's ankle will not disappear, and they are only likely to cause further problems if he continues playing.

The Ashes is almost five months away and England cannot afford to risk the problem flaring up again on the eve of the first Test in Brisbane. Flintoff should have an arthroscopic operation to remove the shards of bone as soon as possible and spend six weeks getting himself fit for the final two Tests against Pakistan.

The absence of Vaughan and Flintoff, along with Ashley Giles, Simon Jones, James Anderson and Ian Blackwell, who are also injured, will leave Andrew Strauss captaining the side.

Rikki Clarke is considered by many to be the second best all-rounder in England and the series will give him the chance to impress. Stephen Harmison will make a welcome return and Stuart Broad, the son of Chris, the former England opener, has a chance of being fast-tracked into the side. Broad could well be joined by Jamie Dalrymple, Alex Loudon and Ed Joyce.

Middlesex's Joyce and Owais Shah and Essex's Alastair Cook will compete for the final batting spot. Shah is the most versatile of the three but his fielding lets him down. This could give the Dublin-born Joyce the chance to play for England against Ireland in the first full one-day international between the two sides in Belfast on Tuesday.

The loss of so many senior players is good news for Geraint Jones, the England wicketkeeper. Jones desperately needs to start scoring runs if he is to avoid being replaced by James Foster or Chris Read. Whoever keeps wicket, Sri Lanka will probably start as favourites.

Sri Lanka squad for NatWest series: D P M D Jayawardene (captain), K C Sangakkara (wicketkeeper), S T Jayasuriya, W U Tharanga, T M Dilshan, C K Kapugedera, R P Arnold, M F Maharoof, W P U J C Vaas, S L Malinga, M Muralitharan, C R D Fernando, P D R L Perera, C M Bandara.

Angus Fraser's England squad: A J Strauss (c), I R Bell, S C J Broad, R Clarke, P D Collingwood, R Clarke, J W M Dalrymple, S J Harmison, G O Jones, Kabir Ali, A G R Loudon, S I Mahmood, K P Pietersen, L E Plunkett, M E Trescothick.

* Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar is likely to miss the start of the tour of England due to an ankle injury. He is a doubt for the first Test at Lord's on 13 July.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, poses at the premiere of
people
News
people
News
The frequency with which we lie and our ability to get away with it both increase to young adulthood then decline with age, possibly because of changes that occur in the brain
scienceRoger Dobson knows the true story, from Pinocchio to Pollard
Voices
The male menopause: those affected can suffer hot flushes, night sweats, joint pain, low libido, depression and an increase in body fat, among other symptoms
voicesSo the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Life and Style
health
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen