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.

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvRicky Gervais on the return of 'Derek' – and why he still ignores his critics
Sport
Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates his goal
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Homer meets Lego Marge in the 25th anniversary episode of The Simpsons, set to air on 4 May
tv
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatreReview: Of Mice and Men, Longacre Theatre
Life & Style
Infant child breast-feeding with eyes closed
healthTo stop mummy having any more babies, according to scientists
News
news
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Arts & Entertainment
film
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
news
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey gets the North Korean leader's look
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
Life & Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 63rd anniversary of the Peak District National Park
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal