England vs India fourth Test: Former England captain Michael Vaughan warns victory could slip away due to poor Old Trafford outfield

Vaughan believes the state of the pitch could cost England after an apparent failure of the drainage system

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The Independent Online

England face being denied a Test victory because of the poor state of the Old Trafford outfield, warns former skipper Michael Vaughan.

An apparent failure of the drainage system at the Brian Statham End of the ground on day two left two huge puddles just inside the boundary. Attempts to resolve the problem using mop-up vehicles churned up the troubled area and made the problem worse.

With heavy rain expected throughout Sunday, Vaughan fears that Lancashire, who play their home games here, might be unable to make the outfield playable again, even if the weather is fine on Monday. That scenario could cause huge frustration for England and similar embarrassment for Lancashire.

“The forecast for Sunday is for it to rain all day,” said Vaughan on BBC Test Match Special. “If that is the case, and looking at how the outfield was at the Statham End on Friday, I don’t see how it will be fit for Monday.”

Lancashire cricket director Mike Watkinson was forced to defend the county’s preparations after they were booed by angry supporters on Friday, when play was called off at 5.39pm under blue skies.

He said on Saturday: “We will do everything we can. If Mother Nature beats us, it will not be for lack of trying.”