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Michael Vaughan

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A fascinating series

So here we are again.

A month after we were knocked out of the World Cup the England cricket team begin a three-match Test series in Antigua against the West Indies.

There has so far been one major casualty in the fall-out from the World Cup misadventure, Paul Downton being removed from his seat of office last week.

There are all sorts of names being bandied around but I would personally really like to see an ex-England captain get the job.

Messrs Strauss, Vaughan, Hussain and Atherton have all been mentioned in dispatches along with Alec Stewart so it will be no surprise if the big job went to one of those five.

As for the cricket itself, the reports coming back from Antigua are that the practice facilities have been great and hopefully the wicket may be the same.

I seem to remember the Antigua wicket turning a bit so one of the dilemmas will be one spinner or two. It would be a brave move to go with two.

There are big chances for a returning Jonathan Trott, a rejuvenated Ben Stokes and either one or both of the spinners Adil Rashid and James Tredwell.

It will be fascinating to see if England have been able to pick themselves up morale-wise in a month. I think the cricket may well be attritional and slow and patience will be the key over the next month.

A word on Jimmy Anderson, who will be playing his 100th Test. It’s a fantastic achievement for a fast bowler with so much cricket to play.

From the first day I saw him, I believed he would have a long career playing for England. His skill sets with the ball are fantastic and his dedication and fitness have never wavered.

He is only three wickets behind Ian Botham’s England Test match record of wickets and it would be great to see him go past that in his 100th game. Good luck to all.

On the domestic front, the highlight of yesterday’s first day of Championship cricket was Paul Collingwood’s fifer. I haven’t often been able to say that, I bet he was stiff this morning.

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