Fears over Giles and Vaughan

While nothing they come up with would be more constructive than winning a toss, the debilitating long-term weaknesses in different parts of the right legs of captain Michael Vaughan and Ashley Giles clarified their difficulties yesterday. It was announced that Giles will definitely leave the tour after the Third Test, which starts here on Tuesday. He will miss the one-day series to have surgery on a hip cartilage.

No final decision has been taken on Vaughan, but he may also go home if his knee again causes trouble. That too will need an operation. Ian Blackwell, of Somerset, will replace Giles, thus surprisingly resuming an international career that looked to have been sacrificed on the altar of burgers and chips. It shows that these England selectors and coach Duncan Fletcher can forgive.

Ian Bell, already in the Test team, has been put on stand-by for Vaughan. Bell will probably stay but England would have no wish to announce at such a delicate time their captain's imminent departure.

Add this medical bulletin to the absence of Andrew Strauss, now back with his wife Ruth, who is due to give birth tomorrow, and the squad might be in some disarray. Not so, and nor would such a state be expected with such outwardly calm characters as Vaughan and Fletcher in charge.

But they are running out of opportunity. The later 10am start in Lahore, caused by early morning dew, means that the match will lose 150 minutes. There can be no time added at the end of the day because darkness will still descend at around 4.30pm. The over rate will remain sluggish.

England must choose an opener to replace Strauss. There are three options: Alastair Cook, the fledgling opener of boundless promise who came here as cover, Vaughan, whose best days as an England batsman were arguably as an opener, and Ian Bell, who has professed himself ready to step up from No 4 if asked.

The selectors - effectively Vaughan and Fletcher - claim still to be uncertain. It would be a surprise if Vaughan did not do the job, with Paul Collingwood asked to provide middle-order ballast. The probable scenario depends on Vaughan, who is still not moving as fluently as he might, definitely being fit.

A similar consideration must apply to composition of the bowling attack. Of the 39 Pakistani wickets to have fallen so far in the series only five have gone to the combined spinning efforts of Giles and Shaun Udal.

Giles has been out of sorts and his hip is the most obvious cause. England will be loathe to omit him at the Gaddafi Stadium because he has been so much part of their success and because Udal does not have the credentials to be a lone spinner.

Swing bowler Jimmy Anderson, the forgotten man of a tour for the third consecutive year, may be called upon as part of a four-man seam attack. Fletcher said he looked good in the nets, but the telling time would be in the middle.

It will take luck and fortitude for England to draw level and avoid losing their first series since being beaten in Sri Lanka in late 2003. Pakistan are in sanguine mood. They have to make none of the running. By next Saturday, England will probably have reason to regret fully their failure to make 198 to win the First Test.

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Life and Style
Men with beards rejoice: Your beard probably doesn't harbour faeces-like bacteria
health
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before