England coach Fletcher wants One-Day improvement

Published: Saturday, September 17, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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London:England coach Duncan Fletcher is confident Ashes victory can inspire improvement in the one-day arena.

During 18 months of unprecedented success in the Test arena by Michael Vaughan's team - the series win over Australia was the sixth on the trot - results in limited-overs engagements have lagged behind.

However, Zimbabwe-born Fletcher is clearly pinning hopes on peaking for the next World Cup, which is only one-and-a-half years away, by figuring out a long-term strategy during 12 matches in Pakistan and India this winter.

The Test team was constructed piece by piece over a not dissimilar time period and Fletcher said: "The puzzle is still being put together and it could be quite interesting after this winter where we are going.

"Maybe we will fill another part of this puzzle. We are slowly building for that World Cup."

Although the majority of the Ashes squad have been afforded six weeks rest ahead of the Pakistan portion of the winter, Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell are permitted to feature in county cricket while Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison and Kevin Pietersen will face Australia in the Super Series.

Captain Vaughan is unlikely to get another crack at the Aussies, however, despite fronting their first defeat for four years.

Overlooked for the initial 13-man squad, he is set for a second snub even if Sachin Tendulkar's elbow injury means a replacement is required.

While Indian star Tendulkar is confident he will declare his fitness to chairman of selectors Sunil Gavaskar by next Wednesday, the deadline set him by the Rest of the World management, it is understood Inzamam-ul-Haq, of Pakistan, is favourite to fill in if need be.

Tendulkar, 32, underwent surgery on his elbow in May, which ruled him out of tours to Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, but has been selected in both one-day and Test squads for the contests against the world number one Aussies.

"Sachin remains confident," said an International Cricket Council spokesman. "He knows how to manage himself, Sunil is in regular contact with him and we will be informed of the decision next week."

Vaughan's three thrilling centuries made him man-of-the-series in the 2002-03 Ashes but his personal form has been less impressive than his captaincy in recent months and Graeme Smith was chosen for the top job.

Vaughan has averaged only 34.48 in 15 matches stretching back to July 29, 2004 whereas Inzamam has posted an average of 65.54 and struck three hundreds in the same period.

The six-day Test is held at Sydney, starting on October 14, as Australia attempt to put their Ashes loss, their first in 17 series stretching back to defeat in India in March 2001, behind them.

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