Vaughan revives love for game

Former England captain desperate for Test return after break from the side

When the name Michael Vaughan is mentioned what images come to mind? Is it the sight of the former England captain being soaked in champagne as he triumphantly lifted the Ashes at The Oval in 2005, or of him effortlessly and elegantly driving a half volley through extra cover for four?

For many the strongest picture, because it is the most recent, will be that of him tearfully resigning as England captain earlier this year. That took people by surprise because Vaughan rarely seemed out of control during his five years in charge. Vaughan looked a broken man as he left Loughborough that afternoon.

The selectors showed faith in him by controversially awarding him a central contract, but he informed them he was unavailable for the current tour of India: rumours emerged that he was about to quit cricket for life in the Sky commentary box. Vaughan quickly killed the gossip but his love for the game had temporarily disappeared.

It re-emerged by the pool at his holiday home in Barbados. The time away from cricket seems to have done him good: he appeared upbeat, happy and fit as he watched England fall to a fourth successive one-day defeat to India on Monday evening. "At the time they were selecting the squad for India I didn't think I'd want to play cricket before Christmas," admitted Vaughan (right) in Bangalore. "But three or four weeks ago I was sat on a sun-lounger and said to Nicola [Vaughan's wife] I've got to get out and play, I'm ready.

"I immediately rang Peter Moores [the England coach] and asked if I could go on the England Performance tour here. He said absolutely, that I should do whatever I need to get back into contention."

Vaughan is determined that the final images of him in an England shirt will not be those seen at Loughborough. "I'd like to finish my career by contributing with the bat, that is what I am looking forward to," he said. "One of my major strengths as England captain was that I hid a lot from a lot of people. Being a captain is acting and I did that well at times. Certainly for the last six months I had a bit of a mask on and it came down during that press conference. It is not a nice feeling when you cry in front of millions but that was just me at the time.

"I want to get back in to the England side. You come and see a crowd like this, and I know I haven't played one-day cricket for a while, but you just feel the buzz and that is what I love most of all – representing England. It is going to be difficult because there are some good players in that squad, but I know if I get my game going I can force my way back in. I'll bat anywhere, but I'd hope it is in the top six!

"I'm happy with the way things have gone since I stood down. After I resigned it was the first time that I'd watched the 2005 Ashes DVD. Watching it you realise you've done something special. I was always planning for the next series and trying to improve the team or myself and so the break gave me a chance to look back. I also received a phenomenal number of letters, which brought back a lot of good memories."

If Vaughan is to regain his place it will have quite a bit to do with his successor Kevin Pietersen, who he believes has made a positive start. "Everyone knows I'm mates with KP but he hasn't said anything to me about wanting me back for January or next summer," said Vaughan. "If I can get a score out here then I'll be looking to push for the West Indies tour in January. If not, then I'll have to start well for Yorkshire next summer.

"This is the ultimate challenge for a captain, along with Australia. He'll make mistakes as you always do, but I'm sure he'll learn. The thing that I've been really impressed with is that England look like they're in good spirits, and when you're 4-0 down you can easily lose your spirit. It is your job as captain to try and keep them high. From that point of view he is doing a good job.

"In these next three one-dayers we're going to have to get some kind of victory to give us a bit of a boost because the Tests are coming. If we can win one or two games it will give us a lift for the Test series and hopefully we can perform well in those two games." Once a captain, always a captain: they can never let go.

England find it's good to talk

England controversially opted for rest rather than practice on the eve of today's fifth one-dayer against India. For many, with the side 4-0 down, the move will seem preposterous. However, practice is only beneficial to players when it is performed with enthusiasm and Cuttack, the venue for this morning's game, is well over an hour away from the team hotel. England may be losing but it is not through a lack of effort or commitment.

"We had a meeting where we talked and identified areas that have not gone quite right, and I think we will get more out of discussing particular aspects of our game than practice," explained Owais Shah.

For England, Stephen Harmison is set to replace James Anderson. India have suggested they will make changes but will be equally keen to destroy England's confidence before next month's Test series.

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

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions