|Player:||MP Vaughan, A Flintoff|
|Event:||ICC World Cup 2006/07|
DateLine: 1st March 2007
Michael Vaughan confirmed Thursday that Andrew Flintoff will take over as England captain during the Cricket World Cup if he is sidelined by injury.
Vaughan has played only three of England's last 35 one-day internationals after his long-awaited comeback from knee surgery was curtailed when he tore a hamstring in the recent Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia.
But he insisted he is still expecting to play a full part in England's campaign, starting with their tournament opener against New Zealand on March 16.
"The last two and a half weeks I've been in constant rehabilitation," Vaughan told reporters ahead of the team's departure Friday for the West Indies.
"It's got better and better but until I've played a game and come off feeling fine I don't want to shout too soon.
"But it feels great, I've passed a lot of tests batting, bowling and fielding and I will play a part on Monday (against Bermuda) and against Australia on Friday, building up for the game against New Zealand on March 16."
On Flintoff possibly replacing him as captain, he added: "Hopefully it won't come to that. I deserve a little bit of luck and hopefully this is the stage where I can get in the side.
"I should be fine to play against Bermuda - not a full part - and gradually build up to more of a part against Australia."
Vaughan rated England as "dark horses" to win the tournament after their victory in the Commonwealth Bank series against Australia and New Zealand.
"To come back from Australia with a trophy having played good, basic cricket we now have to make sure we get to that standard again.
"It gives confidence to the team that if we show up and do the basics well we can be very competitive against any team in the world," the Yorkshire batsman added.
"Conditions will be very different (from Australia) and that is something we will have to get used to, get our strategies right and go into the New Zealand game on March 16 in a positive frame of mind.
"To reach the last four we might have to adopt a different strategy but first and foremost we have to get the basics right."
Vaughan is also aiming to improve his one-day record in the West Indies.
"I have things to prove. I have been out for a year with injuries and my one-day record is not as good as my Test record and I don't think there is a better place to put that right than at at a World Cup."
In contrast to Australia, the squad are all fit with key batsman Kevin Pietersen fully recovered from the cracked rib he sustained on the winter tour.
"It is great to have Kevin back, he adds a great deal to our batting," said Vaughan.
"He is our best one-day player and I'm looking forward to seeing him bat in the Caribbean on what I believe are small grounds and he should make the most of that.
"I have a plan in my head as to what the order will look like and, if everyone is fit, what the bowling unit will look like.
"We have got a couple of options on the batting and bowling and it is a matter of choosing the right one for that specific game."
(Article: Copyright © 2007 AFP)
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