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Staff and agencies
July 2, 2000
Nasser Hussain - Victory viewed from the balcony
Photo © AllSport
With no home batsman having reached fifty in any of the four innings played against West Indies to date in this series - or the team to cap two hundred - the selectors have little doubt of their main priority between now and the start of the third Test Match at Manchester in the first week of August. With Nasser Hussain returning from injury, replacement Michael Vaughan showing he should have a place by right, and Graham Thorpe poised for a comeback, some places will be under pressure.
Nasser Hussain confirmed that the rubber against West Indies was the crux of the season - more significant than the short series against Zimbabwe or the limited-overs triangular tournament. The victory at Lord's was the most event of the summer to date - especially as it had been achieved against opponents who were coming together as a cohesive team.
Forced by his injury to watch from the pavilion the England captain asserted that if that match didn't prove the excitement of Test Match cricket "then I don't know what is".
David Graveney, chairman of the selectors, considered that the results of defeat could be considerable. Now as the result of winning there was much to anticipate. The interlude of the limited-overs tournament would give him and his co-selectors time to iron out the few worries before the series resumes.
Before that, however, they will have to look to the one-day party where injuries could upset the initial selection of fourteen. Nasser Hussain, Andrew Flintoff and Nick Knight are in doubt. Their potential replacements could be drawn from either the victors at Lord's Dominic Cork and Michael Atherton, hitherto omitted, experienced specialists such as Matthew Maynard, or provide an opportunity for promising newcomers like Marcus Trescothick.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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