England v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Headingley June 3, 2004

McMillan misses out



Michael Vaughan: returning down the order © Getty Images

Craig McMillan failed a late fitness test on the little finger he broke for the second time on this tour during the otherwise-comfortable weekend victory over Leicestershire, and will miss the second Test at Headingley which starts this morning. New Zealand are also sweating on their captain Stephen Fleming, who is battling to recover from an ear infection, but he is expcted to play.

Their other injury worry, the giant allrounder Jacob Oram, will play only as a specialist batsman after picking up a side strain. So, with Shane Bond still not fit, New Zealand have brought in Michael Papps at the top of the order. If Fleming doesn't recover by 11am, then late draft Mathew Sinclair will step in.

Michael Vaughan, the England captain, has confirmed that he will bat at No. 4 in the match - unless his wife goes into labour while he's padded up. Nichola Vaughan is due to give birth to their first child soon, and Vaughan said: "It's due around the time of the Test match. If I get a call, I'll be leaving the ground. If I'm out in the middle batting it's just unlucky. I'll be batting at four unless I get the call. We'll just make sure she drops it before 11am!"

Vaughan has decided to drop down the order after the success of Andrew Strauss at Lord's, where he scored 112 and 83 on his debut after stepping in as a late replacement - for Vaughan, who injured his knee in the nets a few days before the match. Vaughan has scored 10 of his 11 Test centuries from the top of the order, but admitted: "It has been in our thoughts for a while for me to drop down. We have discussed it over the past year and we have found a really good replacement for me in Andrew Strauss."

Vaughan slots in to the position vacated by Nasser Hussain after his emotional Lord's farewell. Further down the order the only decision the selectors are likely to lose any sleep over is whether to play the spinner - Ashley Giles - or to bring in an extra batsman, Paul Collingwood. In the interests of variety Giles is likely to keep his place alongside England's impressive four-prong pace battery. There will be no changes there, after Jimmy Anderson dropped out with a bruised heel. Kent's Martin Saggers has been called up as cover, but is unlikely to add to his one Test cap in Bangladesh last winter unless the nets claim another victim.

England have fond memories of Headingley after their astonishing two-day victory over West Indies in 2000 and the Mark Butcher-inspired comeback against Australia the following year. But since then England have not been Leeds leaders: in 2002, on what seemed to be a perfect track for their seamers, England were demolished by an innings by India, while last year they lost by 191 runs, despite reducing South Africa to 21 for 4 on the first morning (an anchoring 130 from Gary Kirsten stopped the rot).

But England have only lost once to New Zealand at Headingley - in 1983, in what was their first Test victory on English soil, with Chris Cairns's dad Lance taking 10 of the 20 wickets to fall. Mind you, England have only beaten them there once, too - in 1965, when John Edrich's 310 not out set up an innings victory. The other three games there between these two sides have been draws (in 1949, 1958 and 1973).

Whoever misses out for England will return to their counties for the current round of Championship matches. And as Yorkshire have got a game and Durham haven't, two Durham youngsters have been called up to share the 12th-man duties - Nicky Peng and Gary Pratt.

England (probable): 1 Marcus Trescothick, 2 Andrew Strauss, 3 Mark Butcher, 4 Michael Vaughan (capt), 5 Graham Thorpe, 6 Andrew Flintoff, 7 Geraint Jones (wk), 8 Ashley Giles, 9 Matthew Hoggard, 10 Stephen Harmison, 11 Simon Jones.

New Zealand 1 Mark Richardson, 2 Michael Papps, 3 Stephen Fleming (capt) or Mathew Sinclair, 4 Nathan Astle, 5 Scott Styris, 6 Jacob Oram, 7 Brendon McCullum (wk), 8 Chris Cairns, 9 Daniel Vettori, 10 Daryl Tuffey, 11 Chris Martin.