Fletcher wants Vaughan at three

England's captain Michael Vaughan acknowledges his century against India during the fourth day of their second test cricket match at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, July 30, 2007. REUTERS/Darren Staples

LONDON (Reuters) - Former captain Michael Vaughan should be recalled to solve England’s batting problem at number three in the order for the Ashes series against Australia later this year, former coach Duncan Fletcher said Thursday.

England have struggled to fill the position with Ian Bell out of form and Owais Shah failing to grab his opportunities on the batsmen-friendly wickets during the current West Indies tour.

“England’s batting is fine except for the number three position, which has turned into a big problem for the selectors,” Fletcher wrote in the Guardian newspaper. “The name Michael Vaughan keeps cropping up.

“As long as he starts the season well for Yorkshire, I’d have him in at number three. Sure, he’s an old favourite of mine but I can guarantee the Australians would rather he wasn’t playing.”

Vaughan, 34, resigned from the England captaincy during the series against South Africa in August last year and despite being handed a central contract he was overlooked for the tours of India and West India.

Under Fletcher, Vaughan led England to victory in the memorable 2005 Ashes series when they beat Australia for the first time in 18 years.

He is England’s most successful captain with 26 victories in 51 tests.

“Whoever they choose for the two-test series at home to West Indies in May will also ideally play against Australia,” Fletcher added. “But Owais Shah has not taken his chance on some very flat wickets.”

Writing by Kylie MacLellan, Editing by Justin Palmer