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England v South Africa 2nd Test

Surprise selection Darren Pattinson
Pattinson was picked ahead of the likes of Chris Tremlett and Simon Jones

Skipper Michael Vaughan conceded that England's selection looked "confused" after their big defeat by South Africa.

The uncapped Darren Pattinson was picked ahead of several experienced fast bowlers with Paul Collingwood dropped and Tim Ambrose moved to six.

"It does look a confused selection, but the selection of one person does not lose you a Test," Vaughan said.

"The collective unit lost the match. We didn't play well enough, and we didn't feel as much of a unit this week."

The hosts slumped to a 10-wicket defeat in the second Test at Headingley, but Vaughan was at pains to stop Pattinson, 29, who took 2-95 in South Africa's first-innings 522, from being made a scapegoat.

"Darren has taken a lot of criticism," he said of the Grimsby-born, Australia-raised seamer who had played just 11 first-class matches prior to his surprise call-up.

"It's not his fault. He got selected, he turned up and tried his guts out. At times he bowled some good spells.

You change the team by two players, have players moving out of position and leave someone like Paul Collingwood out... of course it has an effect

Michael Vaughan
"I felt sorry for him, because he'd obviously not been in the set-up and didn't know anyone. That made it very difficult for him."

Vaughan confirmed he and coach Peter Moores had chosen the starting side from the squad of 13 picked by the selectors.

They went for Pattinson ahead of Chris Tremlett, the man originally called up by the selectors as cover for the injured Ryan Sidebottom, while the likes of Steve Harmison, Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones were overlooked.

Moores said: "It was a tough decision, we have had Chris Tremlett travelling around with us.

"He has worked very hard but we wanted someone to pitch the ball up to the bat and swing.

"It looked like (the pitch) wouldn't have much pace in it and that was proven throughout the Test match.

"To try to get the ball up to the bat, make it swing and make people drive was going to cause more problems.

"So we went with Pattinson but, like with all the bowlers, it was hard work."

England are optimistic Sidebottom will recover from back trouble to play in the third Test starting next Wednesday, 30 July, with the squad to be announced on Saturday.

The other major selection issue concerns who bats at number six, the decision to drop out-of-form batsman Paul Collingwood and recall talismanic all-rounder Andrew Flintoff affecting the batting line-up.

With Flintoff short of runs this season England were forced to play wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose, who made scores of 12 and 36, at six, which left their batting looking exposed.

"The whole Friday morning unsettled the team," Vaughan conceded. "You change the team by two players, have players moving out of position and leave someone like Paul Collingwood out... of course it has an effect.

"You could see he was very disappointed, and people were disappointed for him. But a lot of us are experienced and we still should and could have coped with it better.

"We got ourselves in a half-decent position, 110 for three, and then played like millionaires in the afternoon."

England are trailing 1-0 in a Test series for the fourth time out of five, though on the most recent occasion in New Zealand they managed to win the last two Tests to clinch the series.

They will have to do it again to win the Basil D'Oliveira Trophy outright, with Vaughan hoping Edgbaston provides a tunring point.

"We know that Edgbaston is a good ground for England," he added. "It has been for the last few years and we have to hope it proves to be again."

see also
England face battle to save Test
20 Jul 08 |  England
SA on top after England collapse
18 Jul 08 |  England
South Africa in England in 2008
14 Nov 07 |  Cricket

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