On this day 2007 – Michael Vaughan sets England captaincy record

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On June 11, 2007 a 60-run victory over the West Indies at Old Trafford saw Michael Vaughan become the most successful England captain ever, measured by Test wins.

That was his 21st triumphant outing in charge, overtaking Peter May. Vaughan added another five wins before retirement and remains top of the list.

Here, the PA news agency looks England’s top five.

Michael Vaughan (Played 51, won 26, lost 11, drew 14)

Michael Vaughan holds the record for England Test wins as captain.
Michael Vaughan holds the record for England Test wins as captain (Gareth Copley/PA)

Having already enjoyed success in charge of the one-day side, Vaughan’s energy helped persuade Nasser Hussain it was time to pass the torch after dragging the team up from the depths. Vaughan is best remembered as the man who ended an 18-year wait for victory in the Ashes, overseeing the downfall on an all-time great Australia side in 2005. Injury and dipping form hit thereafter but when he stepped down after five years he had already built a fine legacy.

Sir Andrew Strauss (Played 50, won 24, lost 11, drew 15)

Michael Vaughan holds the record for England Test wins as captain.
Michael Vaughan holds the record for England Test wins as captain (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Strauss captained exactly half of his 100 Tests but it might easily have been more, with the more exciting but less able Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen both beating him to the job on earlier occasions. Strauss eventually picked up the baton in 2009 and, alongside team director Andy Flower, enjoyed a brilliant run that included a stunning Ashes win Down Under in 2010/11 and attaining world number one status.

Sir Alastair Cook (Played 59, won 24, lost 22, drew 13)

Cook won two Ashes series but lost 5-0 away.
Cook won two Ashes series but lost 5-0 away (David Davies/PA)

The stoic opening batsman took over from his long-term partner Strauss and went to on to lead the side in a record number of Tests. He went on to become his country’s leading run-scorer but faced scrutiny over his tactical acumen and instincts for much of his reign. A rare away series win in India was an early high but two home Ashes wins were balanced against a whitewash in Australia in 2013/14.

Joe Root (Played 39, won 20, lost 15, drew 4)

Joe Root is well on the way to top spot.
Joe Root is well on the way to top spot (Mike Egerton/PA)

The current skipper has a higher ratio of both wins and losses than his predecessors, a reflection of both cricket’s increasingly ‘fast forward’ nature and of England’s own wildly veering form. If he stays in the job for a year or two he appears destined to set a new high bar beyond his friend and mentor, Vaughan.

Peter May (Played 41, won 20, lost 10, drew 11)

Peter May batting against Australia.
Peter May batting against Australia (PA archive)

One of the most elegant batsmen England has produced, May was also a fine captain. Led England between 1955 and 1961, winning almost 50 per cent of the time. The only blot on his copybook was the one series he lost – a 4-0 thrashing in Australia.

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