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England v South Africa 3rd Test



Michael Vaughan
Vaughan will lead the team in the final Test of the series at The Oval

Captain Michael Vaughan raised doubts about his own future after England lost a home Test series against South Africa for the first time since 1965.

Vaughan has scored just 40 runs in five innings, with South Africa taking a 2-0 series lead at Edgbaston.

"I have no doubts about my captaincy ability," he said. "Absolutely none. But I am not scoring runs.

"As a number three batsmen I have got to score runs and in this series what have I got?"

England set South Africa a target of 281 for victory on day four of the third Test, but they still slumped to a five-wicket defeat.

And it is the side's batting that has proved their main downfall throughout the series, with Vaughan himself unable to make any impact.

"I have had some good balls and a little bit of bad luck," he said.

"But I set myself a lot of high standards and in this series I have not got anywhere near those standards, so I want to look at that, and make sure I get back to playing like I can.

We've got to support him and he's got to move on

England coach Peter Moores on Vaughan
"You have to deliver out in the middle. I am an experienced player and at the minute I am not delivering, so I will have to come up with a formula to give myself the best chance to deliver when the pressure is on.

"Let the dust settle because emotions always run high after defeats like this.

"It's the first time I have ever lost back-to-back games and I am more gutted than anyone because midway through the day I expected us to bowl them out for 200 and win quite comfortably."

Asked if he endorsed Vaughan to continue as captain in next week's Oval Test, England coach Peter Moores said: "Definitely. I think the cricketing gods can sometimes make it hard work.

"He started the second innings really well, obviously massively up for the game, and then played a pretty good-looking shot and was caught inches off the ground by the guy at extra cover.

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"Sometimes the game can be like that. You've got to ride that through, you've got to back yourself, keep your belief; we've got to support him and he's got to move on."

The squad for the Oval Test was due to be named on Sunday.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith hit a magnificent unbeaten 154 to guide his side home and Vaughan paid tribute to his opposite number.

"It was a very special innings from Graeme Smith," said Vaughan.

"The way he came out and played, and chased down that target, was as good an innings as I have ever seen under that sort of pressure.

"We threw everything at them. We had that flurry of wickets in the afternoon and we just felt we were going to get wickets consistently and blow them away.

"Even in the last hour I thought we were one wicket away."


see also
Moores bemoans batting failures
02 Aug 08 |  England
South Africa in England in 2008
02 Aug 08 |  Cricket


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