On the Front Foot: 'Mentally exhausted' Vaughan will not tour India

England will take a squad of 15 players to India for the series of two Tests in December. Michael Vaughan, the erstwhile captain, will not be among them after informing the selectors that he urgently needs a break from the game.

In their turn, the selectors decided his form was not sufficiently good to warrant a place. Chairman Geoff Miller said: "Our view is it will be to England's benefit if he takes a break from inter-national cricket in the period leading up to Christmas and spends time working on his game.

"We have discussed the situation with Michael. He fully understands the reasons for the selectors' decision and has made clear to us that he is fully committed to winning back his place in the England Test side."

So Vaughan did not wish to go and the selectors were not about to pick him. In which case it is tempting to wonder why Vaughan was awarded an annual central contract worth some £200,000. Although Vaughan is desperate to take part in the Ashes series next summer, he is mentally drained by the demands of constant big-time cricket, exacerbated by the 18 months he spent returning from long-term injury.

"My poor batting is nothing to do with anything technical," he said. "I just can't focus, my mind isn't there. I've got to get away from the game."

Vaughan's tearful departure from the England captaincy after three of four Tests against South Africa this summer was seen as a surprise, but he said he had already decided to go at the end of the series whatever happened. "As soon as I came back into the England team it was taking its toll," he said. "I have played non-stop cricket for 10 years, being away every winter, and when I was injured the entire time was spent concentrating on getting back."

Vaughan is aware there may be no easy way back this time and can hardly expect to be recalled for the tour of the West Indies starting in January. But he seems to view his destiny as playing one more time against Australia. Whatever happens then, retirement may follow at the end of next summer. "I need to get my head clear and then start playing. I know I still have the ability," he insisted.

The damaged knee which cost him so much of his career appears to be in good order but still needs constant care. His omission makes the selection of the squad, announced tomorrow, a shade easier, although Miller said it was a long meeting. "They all are, the days of 10-minute sessions are over."

England will take two wicketkeepers, presumably Matt Prior and Tim Ambrose, and three players capable of bowling spin. That is unlikely to include Yorkshire's rapidly developing leg-spinner Adil Rashid, but it may mean places for Nottinghamshire pair Graeme Swann and Samit Patel, who has taken a mere 12 Championship wickets with his orthodox left-arm spin this summer. The chances are that England will not win the series by turning the ball.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
Life and Style
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own