Vaughan Again

With the dust barely settled after the release of the Schofield Report (and it remains to be seen how much dust will gather on its cover before some of its recommendations are implemented), the current England team did its best to prove one of its points by hurrying back into Test match action today after only three days off.

Like many other people I was having my doubts about the swiftness of Michael Vaughan's return to the side - very good captain, sure (but not great); very good batsman, yes (but not great); but worthy of walking straight back into the side after only a handful of matches in the past eighteen months? Perhaps not (is what I would have said at eleven o'clock this morning).

However, writing this evening with all the doubts banished by Vaughan's balanced and commanding innings of 103, there's a bit of a feeling that normal service has been resumed in the England side, even if Flintoff and Fletcher are nowhere to be seen.

Vaughan always was a batsman of the very highest pedigree and it's no surprise to find that he still had the reserves of mental toughness to take him past all the doubts and on to an innings-defining hundred which should set him firmly on the road to the second half of his career without a backward glance.

For England normality is also increasingly defined by a Kevin Pietersen century. Anything else and there's something not quite right.

Time for him to push on past 158 tomorrow and show the world what he can really do.

Just as his captain did today.

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