Retain Vaughan as captain for the Ashes series: Fletcher

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London, May 10 (UNI) Looking ahead to next year Ashes series, former coach Duncan Fletcher insisted that Michael Vaughan is the only choice for captain if England want to repeat thier 2005 performance.

''I can't see anyone else doing the job,''he told The Guardian.

''He is a very, very good captain. What sums him up is quite simple for me. Look at his performances against Australia (Vaughan averages nearly 48, with four hundreds). I don't see how people can question him. He loves playing them, even though it's the toughest job in international cricket. But it's what he wants. He wants to take those guys on.

''Of all the injuries we suffered in 2006-07 Vaughan was the biggest loss. If you go to Australia you have to have a very experienced captain. We needed him there. If you go out with an inexperienced captain it's very difficult. The Australians respected him first of all as a captain and also as a batsman.

He would have held that batting side together.'' England lost the last Ashes series 5-0 in Australia and that is still haunting Fletcher.

However, he shrugged off suggestions that injuries are the only reason for the humiliating defeat and said the absence of key players was also a primary cause.

''I've never seen anyone write this,'' he said. ''All I would like someone to do one day is sit down and say: if we'd been at full strength, and they were missing McGrath, Warne, Ponting and Hayden - that would be the equivalent of what happened to us - what would the result be? I'm not saying we had better players than them but our losses were huge.'' ''Look at Simon Jones. If he had developed further, who knows where he would have got to? I don't think we've seen the best of him. We knew what we were missing with Vaughan, Trescothick and Giles - they couldn't have got much better. But Simon Jones could have actually got better with the experience that he'd gained,'' he added.

Fletcher, however, was full of praise for young pace bowler Stuart Broad, and said he can be a effective batsman at number eight.

''He's a very exciting character for England cricket. They can play around this guy because he's so strong mentally. England have got potential there but they've got to make sure they keep 11 fit players on the field. That's really been the problem,'' he said.


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