Vaughan targets improvement in personal form

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The Independent Online

The England captain suffered two single-figure dismissals in the first Test at Lord's and another last week at Edgbaston and admitted last night that his performances so far against the Australians this summer have not been good enough.

He saw his stumps shattered by Glenn McGrath in the first innings at Lord's and by Brett Lee in the second. At Edgbaston, it seemed his fortunes were about to change but he threw away his chance with a poorly executed hook shot in the first innings before Lee bowled him again in the second for a single.

Last night, he discounted question marks over his technique but conceded that being bowled three times in four innings was a matter for concern.

"If you analyse the balls I have received, they have not been bad deliveries but I'm honest enough to admit that being bowled three times out of four is not good enough for a number three batsman," he said.

"I feel as though I am in good nick and I feel I am doing everything right in the nets. What people say about my technique and my dismissals is irrelevant, really. It is how I feel when I go out to the middle and I feel OK."

Yet Vaughan's form, not just in the current series but for the past year, has been well below his past high standards. He made a century against Bangladesh earlier this summer but remove his two innings against the Test minnows from the equation and his statistics are less impressive, showing that his last 19 innings have yielded only 404 runs at an average of 22.44.

Vaughan remains philosophical. "When you are in a run of good form it has to come to an end some time and likewise a run of low scores has to end, too," he said. "I just feel there are runs around the corner if I just keep doing the basics well."

The captain of Australia, Ricky Ponting, is banking on his players finding their best form simultaneously for the first time this summer.

"We have had good spells in games but they have not lasted long enough," he said. "It is now about guys putting their hands up and performing as we are used to them doing."

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