West Indies v England, 2nd Test, Trinidad, 5th day

Vaughan: 'It's taken a hell of a lot of hard work'

Wisden Cricinfo staff

March 23, 2004

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A jubilant Michael Vaughan - and a downcast Brian Lara - faced the press after England's seven-wicket victory at Port-of-Spain:



Brian Lara congratulates Michael Vaughan © Getty Images
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Michael Vaughan

On the match
We expected to win, but to be 2-0 up after two Tests is way beyond what we thought. It's taken a hell of a lot of hard work to get in this position. It hasn't been easy. We came through some tough periods - Butch and Nasser's partnership was crucial to our victory. I think the cloud cover on the first two days helped both sets of bowlers, but Steve Harmison's spell was a gem and Simon Jones's was fantastic. It's great having them both in the side, with a different bowler to fall back on. But both games could have gone either way. It's important that we don't get too complacent, we know West Indies will fight back.

On the bowlers
I thought Steve Harmison bowled brilliantly at the end of last summer against South Africa at The Oval. He's a real threat - just ask the Aussies, they've always said he's a hard bowler to face. He's swinging the ball now, and putting it in the right area. He's worked hard for two months and it shows. But don't forget Matthew Hoggard. He's done a fantastic job. We've asked him to do a role, and he's kept things tight with good swing and bounce. Simon Jones is not the finished product, so we need to treat him with care. It's important we keep all the guys fit. They're all keen and eager to learn and improve as well. Steve wasn't happy with the way he bowled after the first morning, so he was straight onto the computer seeing where he went wrong and how he could improve. To me, that's the sign of a focussed player.

On his own form
I feel fine. I'm hitting the ball OK, I feel in good nick. I got a good ball in the first innings and got out in the second, but that's part of the game. I'm sure a big score is just around the corner.

Brian Lara

On the series
It's still there, we can still level it. We need to learn not to make the same mistakes again. If we had taken advantage of certain situations then it could have been different, it's not fair to say we've been dominated. We've lost one or two sessions, and that has cost us dearly. The senior batsmen are not producing. That is where the team needs to get its impetus from, like the English team does with Hussain, Butcher and Thorpe. We've got to perform better than that. The team are trying their best. They're embarrassed and disappointed in our performance. The entire team know they're not performing. We need to so some soul-searching. We had some discussions and a long meeting last night on how to get things right.

On his own form
There's no excuse for my batting. I'll get back to the nets. I need to keep my head a little more still and not shuffle across my crease as much. But it's a situation I've been in before, and one I've climbed out of.

On the team's batting
So far, we've been having problems between Nos. 3 to 5 in the order ... we've been falling apart quickly. Ridley's [Jacobs] managed to repair some of the damage, so we thought we'd give him the opportunity to bat with us rather than the bowlers. It almost worked, and I have to commend his performance. He set up the platform, but myself and Dwayne [Smith] could not use that opportunity.

On the way ahead
There are still positives in the team. We have to take responsibility and go forward from here. We're not putting the entire game together. The England players are putting their entire game together and that is what we need to do.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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