KING OF THE COVER DRIVE

Michael Vaughan was one of England’s most elegant batsman, who in his prime was capable of taking apart any attack on his day.

Not only was he one of England’s great batsmen, he also has the honour of being England’s most successful captain of all time. His shrewd captaincy during the Ashes in 2005 was vital to allow England to left the urn for the first time in almost 2 decades.

Despite the joy Vaughan will have felt following his Ashes triumph, his most impressive performance as a batsman alone has to be his stunning tour of Australia in the 2002/03 series.

It was a disappointing series for England as a team, as they were once again comprehensively beaten by the Australian team, but for Vaughan it must have been hugely rewarding to be able to bat so freely and score such huge amount of runs against one of the best attacks in the game in foreign conditions.

It was a run of form that had Vaughan ranked as one of the top batsmen on the planet, and it was not only the sheer volume of runs he scored, but the way in which he scored them so effortlessly for England. Vaughan’s cover drive truly was a sight to behold, and it was this kind of stroke making which drew many comparisons to the similarly elegant David Gower.

At the time, anyone making a bet on cricket would have been tempted to back Vaughan to hit 100.

Like many of his predecessors as captain, Vaughan made the quick transition into the broadcasting side of the game in the aftermath of his playing career.

He has so far shown that the intricacies within the game he observed to give him an edge as a captain can be used to help enliven the viewing experience for viewers.

VAUGHAN PRAISES UL-HAQ

Former England captain Michael Vaughan praised the leadership skills of Misbah-ul-Haq after Pakistan’s resounding series whitewash over England.

Vaughan, who led England to an unforgettable 2005 Ashes triumph against Australia, tweeted “Congrats to Pakistan on a series whitewash..A very good team performance.. Excellent Captaincy from Misbah,” after the 3-0 demolition in the UAE.

Misbah has been widely credited for spearheading Pakistan’s resurgence, as after a tumultuous year – in which three of their players were jailed for their role in a spot-fixing scandal that rocked the sporting world – the team responded on the pitch with a professional dismantling of the world’s number one Test team.

With an average of 36 in the series Misbah’s contribution appears unspectacular – certainly when compared to the destructive wicket-taking exploits of Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman – but the calm and composed 37 year-old managed to mould a successful unit out of a team notorious for its volatility and inconsistency.

Meanwhile, Vaughan also expressed his enjoyment at the balance between bat and ball throughout the series, as the DRS system triggered an unprecedented spate of LBWs and dramatic batting collapses.

“Enjoyed the cricket… Fascinating when Bowl dominates Bat.. . England will bounce back I am sure…Still No1,” he tweeted.

Also, despite presiding over arguably the most memorable series victory in English cricket history, Vaughan’s side never matched the feat of Andrew Strauss’ current charges in scaling the heights of the ICC World Test Rankings.
His faith in the ability of Strauss’ side to recover will be put to the test in Sri Lanka next month, though before then Alistair Cook will take charge for four One Day Internationals in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Stuart Broad will then lead England in two Twenty20 fixtures in Dubai to complete England’s ill-fated trip to the UAE.