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Vaughanís Fit To Drop 

 

The ingredient that makes the Headingley Test so intriguing is the uncertainty of the wicket.  Nobody ever can be fully sure how it is going to play. There has been no significant rainfall up north for the last two or three weeks so a dry track will help the seamers and could turn a bit for the spinners.

Itís so unpredictable that not even winning the toss is a bonus because if there is a bit of cloud cover on the first morning then whoever gets to chose may fancy giving his seamers first go.
England should go into the match firm favourites so the odds of 5 to 4 against them seem highly attractive especially considering that New Zealand are still without their main strike bowler and the middle order did not impress at Lordís.
There is bound to be at least one change to the England side because Nasser Hussain chose exactly the right time to retire.  There is no better way to go than just having hit a match-winning century at headquarters and I wish him well in his future ventures.
Hussainís farewell leaves the No.4 slot vacant and I anticipate skipper Michael Vaughan, fit again after injury, filling it even though it means we will have three left handers in the top three positions and another one coming in at five.
I see no problem in Vaughan playing at four particularly as he has already done it for county and country.  I am sure he has no hang ups about it.
The only possibility of a change in the bowling would be to replace Matthew Hoggard with James Anderson.   I believe the Lancastrian will have to wait his chance, particularly as Hoggard will be on his own track and only two Test matches ago claimed a hat trick.
The New Zealand bowlers looked ordinary on the flat track at Lordís and Iím sure captain Stephen Fleming will demand more of them on a wicket expected to give them assistance.
The skipper himself will be expecting more of himself and it wouldnít surprise me if he produces a big innings.  They need one because England have the chance to sew up the series here.
 
  

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