Australia in England 2009 May 13, 2009

Ponting expects Vaughan to return

Cricinfo staff

Australia's captain, Ricky Ponting, believes that England's Ashes veterans, Michael Vaughan and Steve Harmison, will be back to face his team come the start of the series, despite the instant impact that Ravi Bopara and Graham Onions have made since they came into the side for the Lord's Test last week.

Neither Vaughan nor Harmison is in the set-up for the second Test against West Indies, starting at Chester-le-Street on Thursday, and with no more five-day cricket before Australia arrive at Cardiff on July 8, time is running out for them to prove their worth.

But Ponting, speaking to Fox Sports, said: "I've just got a bit of a feeling that they might want to get Vaughan back into the set-up and they might pick Harmison for when we get there. So I think their side might actually shape up closer to the side of 2005 or 2007 than we actually think it might."

Vaughan's No. 3 slot is currently occupied by Bopara, whose 143 in the first Test was the decisive innings of the match. "Bopara made a really good hundred against the West Indies last week, but their batting is fairly similar with Pietersen, Collingwood, Strauss, Cook, those guys," he said. "We've played a lot against those guys over the years, so it's not too dissimilar, both sides have probably got three or four changes from last time we met."

As for Onions, who took 5 for 38 at Lord's, Ponting remained to be convinced of his long-term role. "He's a lively bowler, and he did well in that game but I'm not sure when they get the Sidebottoms and all those guys back if he'll still be in their side, but we'll wait and see."

Asked about Vaughan's prospects of an Ashes recall, England's captain Andrew Strauss responded: "There's a chance, there's definitely a chance. "There's a lot of cricket to be played between now and the Ashes, and we all know what Vaughany brings in terms of runs and experience. But the ball is in the hands of the players who are in the side right at the moment."