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Jonathan Agnew column

Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

Michael Vaughan
There are bound to be questions about the value of Vaughan's central contract

Jonathan Agnew

Michael Vaughan will be disappointed to miss out on England's Test squad for their tour to the West Indies as, realistically, it moves him one step closer to retirement.

The fact is, however, that he simply has not had any opportunity to press for selection since the end of last summer.

It is acceptable to take a punt on a promising youngster on a tour - as is the case with Adil Rashid - but not on a 34-year-old whose form, on last inspection, had deserted him.

There are bound to be questions about the value of Vaughan's central contract as well.

There is the feeling in some quarters that he would be a better option at number three against Australia than either Ian Bell or Owais Shah. But that depends on how he starts the new season with Yorkshire, as well as the performances of the other two, of course.

Rashid is a good choice. Young and very talented, he has been picked over Ravi Bopara, who remains something of an enigma, and principally as a batsman.

His wrist spin is developing slowly and promisingly, but is not yet good enough to play as the solitary spinner.

For me, the biggest debate centres on the selection of the one-day squad.

After England's hammering in India there surely was good reason to introduce fresh faces. But Bell remains, leaving the top order still looking inadequate.

Luke Wright had no opportunity at all, so I am not convinced that the return of Dimitri Mascarenhas will have any impact whatsoever.

But at least the selectors have looked at the reserve wicketkeeper. Tim Ambrose was a passenger in India where his style of batting made him a bewildering choice.

Steve Davies had a tremendous Pro 40 season for Worcestershire, hitting two centuries and three fifties in seven innings, and will certainly push Matt Prior, whose place in the one-day team is not guaranteed

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see also
Vaughan misses out on tour place
29 Dec 08 |  England
Moores hints at Vaughan comeback
24 Dec 08 |  England
England in West Indies 2009
01 Jun 08 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
23 Dec 08 |  England
TMS ready to soak up the sun
23 Dec 08 |  Cricket

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