England will be transformed into a winning unit in 419 days: VaughanMay 15th, 2008 - 1:18 pm ICT by admin
London, May 15 (ANI): England Test cricket captain Michael Vaughan believes that he can transform his team into a fighting and winning unit in the next 419 days before they taken on the Australians at home.
According to The Sun, that means the team must start off with a thumping victory over New Zealand in the NPower First Test at Lords, which starts today.
England beat the Kiwis in the opening match and went on to win all seven Tests at home in 2004.
It set their bandwagon rolling on an unstoppable path towards Ashes victory the following year.
Similar triumphs against New Zealand and South Africa over the next three months will catapult Vaughans team to second place in the Test rankings.
It will also be the perfect early build-up for when England take on Australia in the First Test in Cardiff on July 8, 2009.
Englands chances against the Aussies will be boosted if Andrew Flintoff, whose comeback from ankle surgery was halted by a side strain, is fit and firing.
But the pragmatic Vaughan refuses to allow his mind to fast forward to 2009.
Vaughan said: Its important to plan for the future but you must look after the now as well. That means making sure we play well against a New Zealand team that are workmanlike but contain some explosive players. The target is to play good, consistent cricket.
Our team is more settled than it was three or four months ago. Players have come in and done well and there is competition for places. I want Flintoff back. I was excited last week hearing how well he was bowling for Lancashire. He would probably have played here at No 7 in a three-man seam attack, Vaughan added.
Whenever he is available later in the summer after he has played a few games, Id love to have him back in the England side because were better with him in, the England captain said.
With Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and Adam Gilchrist all having retired from Test cricket in the past 18 months, England believe they can beat the Aussies at home.
But only if their new breed of players win regularly in the meantime and gain a bucket load of self-belief.
England should be able to deal comfortably enough with a Kiwi team that have an inexperienced top order but a useful bowling attack.
Vaughan will bat at No 3 with Andrew Strauss moving up to open.
Englands Player of the Year Ryan Sidebottom will again be the main threat with the ball.
ENGLAND: Cook, Strauss, Vaughan (captain), Pietersen, Bell, Collingwood, Ambrose (wicketkeeper), Broad, Sidebottom, Anderson, Panesar.
NEW ZEALAND: Redmond, How, Marshall, Taylor, McCullum (wkt), Flynn, Oram, Vettori (capt), Southee, Mills, Martin. (ANI)
Tags: adam gilchrist, andrew flintoff, ankle surgery, aussies, bandwagon, captain michael, cricket captain, england captain, england side, england test, first test, glenn mcgrath, justin langer, kiwis, michael vaughan, seam, shane warne, target, test cricket, test rankings