Michael Vaughan, the returning England captain, said after his test comeback that his hundred in his first Test since December 2005 was “as fine a feeling as I’ve ever felt in the game”, adding that it seemed like destiny to make it at his home ground.
“To go out there and produce it when it seemed the whole country was looking to see how Michael Vaughan was going to react this week was really pleasing,” he said.
“My celebration was a mixture of lots of emotions. To have the crowd cheering was a feeling I haven’t had for a long time, and it’s what you play the game for. That’s as fine a feeling as I’ve ever felt in the game. I felt all week I was going to get some runs. I could envisage myself scoring a hundred. I just had this sense it was going to happen.
I got to 20 and thought, there’s a 100 in me today.”
Vaughan, who made his runs in front of Nick London, the surgeon who operated on his knee last year, spoke of a long, dark road to recovery and admitted that his enforced break from Test cricket, stretching back to the third Test against Pakistan in Lahore in November 2005, had at times led him to question himself.
“You have to prove to yourself that you can play at this level,” he said.
“I know I’m a good player but when you’ve had an 18-month lay-off there are always doubts in the back of your mind about whether you’re going to see the ball, whether you’re going to react, whether your feet are going to move. To score a hundred under pressure is probably the most pleasing aspect.
In terms of innings I’ve played, I put that right up there just for the pressure. It stands with the innings I played against Australia at Old Trafford in 2005. I knew by coming in having not played for three weeks I was under pressure. But I’d rather play under that amount of pressure than take the easy option of getting myself into great nick first. I feel I’m due a bit of luck with my injuries and hopefully this is the start of a long run in the team.”
Among the many fans that stood to applaud Vaughan’s achievement was one man who was singled out for a special mention – Nick London, the surgeon who reconstructed Vaughan’s knee and made the emotions of the day possible.
“It’s quite ironic that he was here today,” Vaughan added.
“It’s the first time he’s seen me play.”
Early diagnosis, collaboration & understanding to speed your recovery
Early diagnosis & expertise to speed up your recovery