England has always loved the underdog. We're a sucker for a comeback. And of late we are in thrall to nostalgia, that most unreliable of notions. The Vaughan of 2001 and 2002 shimmers in the psyche, the most beautiful and classical bat since Gower, a man whose cover drive was a straight line through time. It's a dangerously seductive memory.
That Vaughan no longer exists, just as that England no longer exists, except in the mind. The Vaughan that exists at the moment is a man whose knee was ravaged by surgery and his will by the captaincy, a man who made 363 runs at 24.20 in 2008, a man who, at the end of last season, couldn't hit the ball off the square in county cricket.
He's being chosen on memory and hope, the hope that he will again be the batsman he was before the captaincy. Old boxers have the same hope, their honed bodies a mirage, their minds still strong, their punch that ineffable fraction too slow.