Miller asks Vaughan to explain 'confused' comment

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The Independent Online

National selector Geoff Miller has sought an explanation from captain Michael Vaughan following his comments about team selection for the second Test against South Africa.

Vaughan admitted England were unsettled by "confused" selection during the match at Headingley, which South Africa won by 10 wickets on Monday. The selectors have attracted considerable criticism for the late call-up of Nottinghamshire seamer Darren Pattinson, who was plucked from obscurity on the eve of the Test and had made just 11 previous first-class appearances.

Yet there remains doubt over who had the final say in the selection of the 29-year-old.

"The selectors are not here to make Michael's job harder, which is why I'd like him to clarify his comments" said Miller "It's been made into a massive issue by the media and I want to hear his side of the story."

He added: "This is professional sport. I'm the national selector, Michael is the captain - we're both in this together. We must make sure we're on an even keel."

The fall-out over the selection of Darren Pattinson continued today with a number of former captains demanding explanations.

Ian Botham led the chorus of condemnation for the selectors, claiming their decisions were "appalling, embarrassing and downright wrong".

He added: "The England team selection on Friday knocked me sideways. I feel very sorry for Darren Pattinson, but I don't have any sympathy for the selectors who lost all sense of perspective and embarrassed English cricket. It was the most illogical, pathetic and diabolical piece of selecting I've seen.

"I want to hear a proper explanation for this, as do the England cricket fans around the country."

Pattinson was the first new cap since the current selection panel of Geoff Miller, James Whitaker and Ashley Giles took over.

Nasser Hussain has called for someone to take responsibility for the selection.

"There has been a bit too much passing the buck since England were beaten at Headingley," he said. "Geoff Miller is in charge of selection but there has to be collective responsibility and we can't forget that it was the players who lost the match.

"The bottom line is that the selectors chose to bring Darren Pattinson into the squad but it was Michael Vaughan, as captain, and coach Peter Moores who decided he should be included in the side."

He added: "Ultimately, as captain, you have to take the blame. In Brisbane back in 2002 when I got it wrong with the toss, I put my hands up at the first opportunity. I made it clear it was my fault.

"The captain of any team should always take responsibility, even if there were other people to blame behind the scenes."

However England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has played down the impact of Darren Pattinson's surprise inclusion in the England team.

Flintoff, who made his long-awaited comeback from injury in the same Test, confirmed the rest of the team did not know about Pattinson's selection until the Friday morning.

But he told Sky Sports News: "I don't think that should affect anyone's individual performance."

Asked about the possibility of Steve Harmison - who has been in strong form for Durham - returning for the third Test, Flintoff added: "Steve's a class performer. With Simon Jones and Matthew Hoggard there's probably quite a few to pick from."