Strauss set to reclaim opening berth

England are set to abandon one of their winter plans in next month's first Test against New Zealand with Michael Vaughan relinquishing his opening berth to Andrew Strauss, who batted at three in last month's tour against the same opponents. When Strauss was omitted from England's pre-Christmas tour of Sri Lanka the Alastair Cook/Vaughan opening partnership was presented as a marriage made in heaven, with their contrasting techniques and scoring areas expected to cause bowlers and opposition captains all sorts of trouble.

Cook and Vaughan began encouragingly, compiling two century partnerships in the second Test against Sri Lanka. But in New Zealand the pair failed to give England the starts they were looking for, averaging just 35 for the first wicket. Vaughan was the main problem. The England captain scored only 123 runs at an average of 20.5 in the three-Test series.

In the final Test, Strauss, England's regular opener, struck 177. The contrasting performances have forced England to scrap the experiment and return to the batting order of last summer. Vaughan is keen on the change.

"In an ideal world, I would bat at three," Vaughan said. "Strauss is at three and I think he likes opening. I felt at my best when I have been batting at three and I score a lot more runs there, so it is an easy change."

Vaughan, who averaged 55 against the West Indies and India last summer batting at three, believes the move can help him regain the form of 2002-03, when he was the No 1 batsman in the world. "You have real periods in your career when you probably go beyond your normal and 2002-03 was a stage where everything went incredibly well for me," he said. "That period can come back." Ironically Vaughan opened the batting in 2002-03.

If Vaughan's form fails to return and his place in the team comes under pressure, Kent's Robert Key may be the man to benefit. Key was yesterday named in a 26-man England Performance squad.

Key was unfortunate to be discarded by England three years ago. He was dropped six Tests after scoring a magnificent double hundred at Lord's in 2004. Also in the squad are Adil Rashid, Yorkshire's exciting leg-spinning all-rounder, and Michael Carberry, the Hampshire opener who impressed during the England Lions winter tour. The rest were all selected by England during the winter.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future