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July 24, 2008
Geoff Miller, England's chairman of selectors, has had a meeting with Michael Vaughan to dispel differences over the selection of the team for the second Test against South Africa. Vaughan, England's captain, had earlier said that the inclusion of Darren Pattinson had unsettled the team.
"We have analysed everything," Miller said. "We have cleared the issues that supposedly were involved in the last Test. I've had a chat to Michael Vaughan and I sat down with the selectors and there are no more problems.
"We are trying to make every decision on a sensible basis. We are responsible for selecting the side and people who know me well know there is a logic and a reason behind all the selections made."
Miller had stated before the meeting that he wanted to hear Vaughan's side after Pattinson's selection was made into a "massive issue by the media."
After Vaughan called Pattinson "a confused selection", Miller defended the inclusion of the 29-year-old fast bowler who had played only 11 first-class matches prior to his Test debut. "We garner opinion by talking to umpires, county coaches and other players and then we go and monitor the players that those chats throw up," Miller told the Daily Telegraph. "Once we've got a rounded picture, and if they're the kind of player Peter and Michael are looking for, we'll consider them for selection."
Pattinson's presence in the XI meant England went in with only five specialist batsmen with wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose batting at No. 6. After the ten-wicket defeat to South Africa, Vaughan said: "The whole Friday morning (the first morning of the Test) unsettled the team. You change the team by two players, there are players playing out of position and you leave out a player like Paul Collingwood, who is a huge player in the side, of course it has an effect."
Vaughan also said the team spirit was lacking during the second Test. "We didn't feel as much of a unit this week. I have a huge belief that we need to be a unit in Test cricket."
However, he defended Pattinson's performance (match figures of 2 for 96) and was unhappy with the severe criticism the fast bowler faced. "He tried his guts out and bowled some good spells. I felt sorry for him. He's not been in the set-up and didn't know anyone. We didn't know him, so it was difficult for him."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.