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Vaughan omission shocks Nielsen

Tim Nielsen
Nielsen coached Australia to a 2-1 series win in South Africa in March

Australia head coach Tim Nielsen has revealed his surprise at Michael Vaughan's omission from the England squad to play West Indies on 6 May.

But although ex-captain Vaughan will miss the first Test at Lord's, Neilsen expects him to play in the Ashes.

"I'd be surprised if Vaughan was not facing us in the summer," said Nielsen.

"He's shown in numerous Ashes series how good a player he can be," added Nielsen. "He's got plenty of experience and he's a world class player."

Batsman Vaughan, who has struggled for runs since quitting as England captain in August 2008, was left out of the squad for the West Indies along with Ian Bell and Steve Harmison.

Essex's Ravi Bopara was included with a view to batting at number three, whilst uncapped seam bowlers Graham Onions and Tim Bresnan were unexpected inclusions.

But Nielsen, 40, who took over from John Buchanan as Australia coach after the 2007 World Cup, admitted he had been taken by surprise by the England selectors' decisions.

"I was a little surprised to see they didn't pick either Vaughan or Bell to give them a chance to stake their claim for the Ashes series," said Nielsen.

"When you play in the big series it is hard to go beyond the experienced and quality players that have had impact in the past.

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"With Michael Vaughan and Ian Bell, Steve Harmison's the same, they've also got Flintoff to come back in, there's plenty of quality sat on the sidelines at the minute.

"We hope they can put out the best side they possibly can because there's nothing like playing England when they're at full strength."

Following the retirement of Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath and Matthew Hayden, Australia have blooded a host of new players in the recent home and away series against South Africa and were rewarded with good performances from Mitchell Johnson and Phillip Hughes.

"We've been able to expose some new players to five or six Test matches of the highest quality," said Nielsen. "You don't get the opportunity to learn about that unless you're playing.

"We're confident in what we have in our squad and they're all keen to play some good cricket in England."



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see also
Jonathan Agnew column
29 Apr 09 |  England
Lack of opportunity concerns Bell
29 Apr 09 |  England
Stewart backs Bopara to flourish
29 Apr 09 |  England
Six-for Onions skittles Somerset
29 Apr 09 |  Counties
Flintoff knee surgery 'a success'
28 Apr 09 |  England
Johnson inspires Australia to win
02 Mar 09 |  Cricket
Australia clinch series victory
10 Mar 09 |  Cricket
Aussies crash despite Johnson ton
22 Mar 09 |  Cricket
Hughes century boosts Middlesex
23 Apr 09 |  Counties
Middlesex clinch deal with Hughes
13 Feb 09 |  Middlesex


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