England cricket May 1, 2009

Nielsen surprised at Vaughan exclusion

Cricinfo staff

Tim Nielsen, Australia's coach, has expressed surprise at the omission of former England captain Michael Vaughan from the squad to play the first Test against West Indies from May 6.

"I was a little surprised to see they didn't pick either Vaughan or [Ian] Bell to give them a chance to stake their claim for the Ashes series," Nielsen said. "When you play in the big series it is hard to go beyond the experienced and quality players that have had impact in the past."

Vaughan, Bell and fast bowler Steve Harmison were among the big names missing from the squad announced earlier in the week, the first to be named since Andy Flower was installed as England's permanent head coach. Other surprise decisions were the inclusion of uncapped medium-pacers Graham Onions and Tim Bresnan.

Vaughan has not been in the best of form since resigning from captaincy last summer, but Nielsen said he expected him back in the England side for the Ashes. "I'd be surprised if Vaughan was not facing us in the summer," Nielsen said. "He's shown in numerous Ashes series how good a player he can be. He's got plenty of experience and he's a world class player."