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Michael Vaughan Q&A

Michael Vaughan with the Ashes in 2005
Michael Vaughan is England's most successful Test captain

Following England's defeat in the final Test in South Africa, former England captain Michael Vaughan has taken time out to answer more of your questions.

He tackles issues such as the controversial umpire review system, Kevin Pietersen's run of poor form, next winter's Ashes series and offers a few thoughts about the upcoming tour to Bangladesh.


What's the point of having technology if you can't use all that's available i.e Hotspot and Snicko. Surely cost shouldn't come in to it. The ICC should provide funding for the technology, shouldn't they? Mohammad Sadiq

Correct. I've got no more to add - you're absolutely right.

Has the current series not shown that the referral system is unnecessary at best and counter-productive at worst? Isn't the solution to forget the technology, make sure umpires are up to the job (even if that means Mr Taufel and Mr Bowden have to officiate at every Test!) and just get on with the game, accepting that occasionally even the best umpires will make a mistake? Steve, Essex

Performance to blame not reviews - Strauss

No, I like the review system. I think it works, I just think we need the Snicko, we need Hotspot, we just need it applying that little bit better. I don't think you can blame the system for someone not turning the volume up for the snick of Graeme Smith. The actual system is good, the ICC should pay for the Snicko and Hotspot at every Test match venue.

Ultimately, it still comes down to on-field decisions and I don't think we can get away from the fact that the on-field decisions in this game haven't been great, that's why we had to go to the review system. I think it will stay, it's here for the long-term, I don't think it's suddenly going to get pushed aside because of one human error and we've just got to learn to get on with it.

I just want to see the crowd being given the chance to see the replays as well so they can participate. At the minute we get it in the media and at home but the crowd who've paid money to come and watch should get it as well.

There have been some awful umpiring/3rd umpiring decisions in this Test. However, what has happened to sportsmanship? Players at this level know fine well if they have nicked the ball and should walk. Shaun Donockley

England lost focus over review row - Smith

It's easy for people to say that when they haven't been on the wrong end of a dodgy lbw or been given caught behind when they haven't hit it. The one area I do have a concern with, and it relates to Stuart Broad, is that three times in this series he's snuck the ball, it's been reviewed and he's been given out.

There comes a moment where you've got to accept that if it has been reviewed, you've got to go - it's a slight concern that players are still standing in the middle when they know they've hit the ball, they know it's going to go to review and they're going to get found out.

Without a wrist spinner, how important is it for England to have a bowler of genuine pace in order to become the number one side in the world? Joshua Begner

I think this team is developing and to become the number one side in the world at the minute, the level doesn't have to be like it was five or 15-20 years ago, so there's not a West Indies side of the 80s or an Australian side of the 90s/early 2000s around.

I don't think the spin option needs worrying about. If Graeme Swann got injured, there'd be a problem but Graeme Swann's the man, doing very, very well. We don't have a pace bowler of 90-95 miles an hour in our system, so you can forget about that - we've just got to become very consistent.

The big worry for me is the batting. We haven't scored enough runs and we're not getting 400 runs consistently in the first innings and for the batting order that we have, with Swann at number nine, and all the talent from one to six we should be doing that. That's more of a concern than the bowling.

It seems to me that if England are to be successful regularly around the world, and particularly in Australia next winter, then we have to produce more consistently high first innings scores. Why do you think the England batsmen score less hundreds than those from other countries? Ed

Vaughan highlights fragile batting

I totally agree with you that we do need to score 400 in the first innings - if we'd scored 300 in the first innings here at Joburg we'd have won the game, no question about that, but we didn't and we allowed South Africa the chance to get back into this series.

How do we do it? They've got all the talent, I don't there are many real deficiencies on the technical side but like everything it's played between the ears and unfortunately we still continue to make poor judgements and poor shot selections, and for us to be a really good side, that's got to improve.

Can you ever see KP leading England again? If not, was it a mistake choosing him in the first place as his form has dipped dramatically since he lost the captaincy? Keith Green

I think everyone's reading too much into that. He's bound to have a spell where the batting becomes that little bit more difficult, every batsman in the world's had it - Lara's had it, Tendulkar's had it, Ponting's had it. Kevin Pietersen has had two and a half bad games, he's just got to work his way back into form.

I don't think at the time that many people complained about Kevin Pietersen being England captain because we wanted a guy who would captain in all forms of the game, Andrew Strauss wasn't even a shoo-in for the Test team, let along the one-day team - he wasn't even around the one-day team.

Kevin Pietersen deserved his chance. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. I don't see him captaining again, but you never say never.

Did you ever not pick a player, or campaign for a player not to be picked by selectors, in an England team, as you felt that their character might upset the dressing room, and have a negative influence on team spirit? Neil Cox

When we used to select a team it was always on character, particularly for my first three or four years and then towards the end a different policy came in, a lot more on stats which I generally didn't agree with.

I liked to pick guys purely on character and you only have to look at the performances of Paul Collingwood - he for me epitomises what cricket's all about, he's got more talent than people give him credit for and his technique is very good now, but he has an abundance of character, that real spirit and determination to go out and succeed - and he also reads situations very well.

Do you think England's youth development is good enough to replicate the success of your 2005 Ashes winning squad?
Ciaran North

I think there's enough talent in the English game to produce a really good side. As I said earlier, I don't think there's an outstanding team in world cricket at the moment, that's going to bully you and embarrass you like Australia used to be able to and the West Indies used to be able to.

In that period 2003 to 2005, we had a strategic game plan to make sure we played well against that Australian side. If I was Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower I would be building my team now, and I'm sure they've already started, for Brisbane in November. You have to prioritise Test series and that is the ultimate test, going down to Australia, and we've got a chance - we've got a decent enough team but everyone will have to be fit and fresh and firing.

What do you think about England moving Collingwood to number three? He seems to be the only batsman we have who can attack and defend and, more importantly, stick around and he's the only one with a double hundred. Robert Cluley

No, Collingwood's a perfect number five because your number five has to be able to read the situation and play the moment. You get yourselves in all different positions when you bat at number five, whether you have a good start, bad start, you need to dominate or you need to sit in and play for the draw as he's done on two occasions here, so he's in the perfect position.

I think Ian Bell will push for number three but I like Trott at the minute, he's had an off game here but I don't think anyone should jump to conclusions, he should be given another two or three games to see if he's the man for us at number three. If not, Ian Bell will be given the opportunity.

Taken overall, drawing the Test series 1-1 and winning the one-dayers in South Africa represents a good result for England. But how worried should the selectors be by the fact that four of the top seven averaged in the 20s in the Tests? Do you think new faces should be given a go in Bangladesh and if so, who? Martin

To the media and to the public, they will say they're happy with the 1-1 but behind the scenes they'll know we could quite easily have lost this series 3-1 - if Steyn had played the first game, I think we would have lost 3-1.

They've done well, they've been resilient, they've put in an excellent performance at Durban - but that's the concern, that we can't box that performance up at Durban and produce it more consistently.

I think Andrew Strauss will miss out - I think he's going to get a lot of stick and it's going to be very controversial for missing Bangladesh - but it's a window for him to go and have a rest, just cos I didn't get a break as England captain doesn't mean that it was right.

As I said, prioritise the series and for me, the Australian series at the end of this year is what we all should be gearing towards and if Andrew Strauss needs a break now, let him have one.

I think Ajmal Shahzad should go, the young Yorkshire bowler/all-rounder, I think Tim Bresnan will probably as well I think they'll got with five batsmen and Prior at six and I would do that in Bangladesh to put Prior under a bit of pressure, because his keeping is excellent now, but I still have a slight concern that he's not attuned mentally to playing pressured knocks as a batsman - you've seen his two dismissals here at the Wanderers. For some reason, he's not adapting to the situation well.



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see also
England collapse to heavy defeat
17 Jan 10 |  England
Review errors no excuse - Strauss
17 Jan 10 |  England
South Africa v England photos
17 Jan 10 |  England
Michael Vaughan Q&A
31 Dec 09 |  Cricket
Michael Vaughan Q&A
21 Dec 09 |  Cricket
Vaughan recalls harsh Test bow
25 Nov 09 |  England
Michael Vaughan's career in photos
30 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Ashes hero Vaughan calls it quits
30 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
England in South Africa 2009-10
17 Jan 10 |  England


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