Fit-again Vaughan looks for early advantage
by AFP

Player:MP Vaughan
Event:England in Pakistan 2005/06

DateLine: 19th November 2005


Michael Vaughan returned to lead England in a confident frame of mind, saying his team would try to seize an early advantage against Pakistan in the crucial second Test here on Sunday.


"Whatever we do tomorrow we have to make sure we start well and put Pakistan under pressure as we did in Multan," a fit-again Vaughan told reporters on the eve of the match.


The England skipper was forced to miss the opening match of the three-Test series at Multan due to a knee injury.


Vaughan said he was confident of lasting the match his team need to win to square the series following their 22-run defeat at Multan.


"I have passed the fitness test and had a good couple of days," he said, adding he would replace either Paul Collingwood or Ian Bell.


"It is always a slight risk when you come back from an injury, but I am confident I can get through the game and that is really all that counts."


Vaughan said his team needed to raise their level of performance in crunch situations because it was not easy to come back in a short series.


"It is tough times because we have to win both the Tests to win the series. We had four games to pull it back against Aussies, but here we have just two," said the Ashes-winning captain.


England lost the opening Test against Australia at Lord's before clinching the five-match Ashes series 2-1.


England put Pakistan under pressure in the opening match before losing their way on the fifth and final morning. They were bowled out for 175 chasing a 198-run target.


"We were going at a position when we could have won the game," said Vaughan.


"For four days in Multan we performed very well until that last morning when we got stuck. We just try to improve little more this week. We played a perfect game until that last morning."


Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria played a key role in Pakistan's victory, grabbing four wickets.


"He (Kaneria) is a good bowler and on the last day he can cause problems. He is probably the best young leg-spinner in the world," said Vaughan.


"Leg-spinner on the last day should be causing you problem, but I think six wickets to seamers was more of a concern. He has a few different deliveries, but it is difficult to compare him with Shane Warne at this stage.


"If you tell me that we are chasing 198 in the last innings I will take it again."


Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said his team were keen to wrap up the series with a victory here.


"We are intend on finishing the series here. We realise we have a momentum and if we play well we can beat England," said Woolmer.


"They have batted in bits and pieces, so we need to take this opportunity. If it is there for us, that will be an icing on the cake. But saying that, both teams have a 50-50 chance and it will be a tough Test match."


Pakistan are likely to include all-rounder Shahid Afridi and seamer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan in place of out-of-form batsman Hasan Raza and Shabbir Ahmed.


Fast bowler Ahmed was reported for a suspect bowling action after the first Test.


England (from): Michael Vaughan (capt), Marcus Trescothick, Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff, Geraint Jones, Ashley Giles, Matthew Hoggard, Shaun Udal, Steve Harmison, James Anderson, Matt Prior, Liam Plunkett, Alistair Cook, Alex Loudon.


Pakistan: Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), Salman Butt, Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Danish Kaneria, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Sami, Shabbir Ahmed, Mushtaq Ahmed, Asim Kamal, Arshad Khan, Hasan Raza.


Umpires: Simon Taufel (AUS) and Darrell Hair


TV umpire: Nadeem Ghouri


Match referee: Roshan Mahanama

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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