Vaughan to play against New Zealand
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 6th February 2007
England skipper Michael Vaughan has declared himself available for
Tuesday's crucial triangular series one-day international with New
Zealand in Brisbane.
The winner of the match will play Australia in the tri-series finals
and Vaughan's availability is another boost to an England side
rejuvenated by Friday's shock win over the host nation.
Vaughan, on the comeback trail after a long layoff following knee
surgery, has missed England's past five matches after straining his
hamstring earlier in the series.
"I got through everything, batting in the nets and fielding okay so I
will be available," Vaughan said here on Monday. "We have tested it
really well over the last four or five days and I have done all that
was required, so that is pleasing."
Vaughan said the confidence of the English was high after Friday's win
- their first against Australia on the entire tour. The 32-year-old
said it was important they maintained that much-improved form, adding
that the game was a virtual semi-final.
"You get a lot of confidence from winning games of cricket, especially
against the No. 1 team in the world," Vaughan said. "There's no point
in producing a performance to get us back into the competition on
Friday and letting it slip on Tuesday. It will be a real test of how
far we have come with that victory because it is a pressure game, a
semi-final to get into the finals."
Vaughan is set to partner the in-form Ed Joyce at the top of the order,
with Mal Loye expected to drop out.
Seamer Jon Lewis, who was in good form before an ankle injury, could
also return to further strengthen the England side.
New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming said there was no doubt the English
were a more confident unit after their latest win, but said his side
were ready for the challenge.
"They'll be buoyant after that and up for Tuesday," Fleming said in
Melbourne on Sunday. "We're pretty confident playing against them as
well. It's a semi-final-type scenario where one slip-up you're on your
way home, which we don't want to do."
Fleming dismissed suggestions the confidence of his own side would have
been dented by a third successive narrow loss to the Australians on
Sunday. He said they simply had to keep doing the things that were
working well against Australia.
"We've had three of these come down to the last over or all but the
last over," he said. "We've bounced back pretty well. We've had to do
it in the last three games. We've got to play well, and we've got to
respect the little things that got us into a position to compete here
With a berth in the finals up for grabs, the Kiwis are reconsidering
their plan to rest injury-plagued speedster Shane Bond in Tuesday's