|Player:||MP Vaughan, ME Trescothick, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf|
|Event:||England in Pakistan 2005/06|
DateLine: 19th November 2005
England go into the crucial second Test against Pakistan here on Sunday praying Michael Vaughan can return to lead the side after recovering from a knee injury.
Vaughan was forced to skip the opening Test at Multan due to the injury, sustained during a warm-up game at Lahore. His team lost by 22 runs to concede a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The England skipper said he was hopeful of playing but the final decision would be made only on Saturday.
"I don't like watching," he said. "I have come through the last few days and I am in a position where hopefully I can play on Sunday."
Vaughan was reduced to the role of spectator when he toured Pakistan with Nasser Hussain's squad for a three-Test series in 2000, returning home without playing a match after failing to find a place in the middle order.
He contributed only as a sightscreen pusher when England pulled off a remarkable victory in fading light in the third and final Test at Karachi to clinch the series.
Vaughan hopes fate won't be so cruel this time.
He said there was a slight risk if he plays in Faisalabad but "I think it is a risk that might be worth taking."
England may not have missed Vaughan in 2000, but they need him badly this time both as captain and batsman in their attempt to square the series.
Marcus Trescothick, who led England at Multan in Vaughan's absence, has been in an uncertain frame of mind for the past couple of days with his father-in-law in hospital after a domestic accident.
But he has decided to remain with the squad rather than fly home.
England rode on Trescothick's superb 193 to seize the initiative in the first Test. They dominated the match for four days but one bad session on the fifth and final day cost them dearly.
The tourists were 64-1 at one stage chasing a 198-run target before collapsing to 175.
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said his team would show the same intensity which helped them win the first match.
"I have told the players to show the same intensity and do not get overconfident because we have two more Tests to play," he said.
The hosts may make a couple of changes in the side that triumphed at Multan, especially after fast bowler Shabbir Ahmed and off-spinner Shoaib Malik were reported for suspect bowling action.
"We may make one or two changes but the final decision will be made on Saturday," said Inzamam.
Middle-order batsman Hasan Raza is likely to be replaced by all-rounder Shahid Afridi after scoring nought and one in the opening match.
In encouraging news for Pakistan, batsman Mohammad Yousuf will be fit to play after spraining his right shoulder at Multan.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)
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