ANDREW FLINTOFF will lead England into the Commonwealth Bank Series finals after Michael Vaughan's injury jinx struck again.
While England take on Australia in the first final at the MCG tomorrow, Vaughan will be preparing to return home after aggravating his torn left hamstring.
Vaughan aggravated the injury in the 14-run victory over New Zealand on Tuesday which sent England into the best-of-three encounters against the hosts of the triangular tournament.
The 32-year-old missed five matches after incurring the problem in the tour-maiden victory over the Kiwis in Hobart, and aggravated the condition twice: firstly in practice in Perth and again in his Gabba comeback.
England's medical team have advised 10 days rest and insist his participation at the World Cup next month will not be effected.
It has been a real stop-start affair for Vaughan since returning from a career-threatening knee injury.
"It has been very disappointing on this tour to have no problems with my right knee and then a hamstring comes about," said Vaughan.
"I am desperate to play but we have to look at the future and the next few weeks with the World Cup in mind.
"The medical staff have told me there is absolutely no doubt I will be on the plane for the World Cup."
Flintoff now inherits the captaincy once more, hours after coach Duncan Fletcher revealed the star all-rounder plays with more freedom when not carrying such responsibility.
Back in the ranks he inspired the rest of the attack - perhaps more than at any time since the first Test on the same Gabba ground - with some bursts from the Stanley Street end on Tuesday night.
"From our point of view we feel when he is not captain he probably feels a little bit more free in his batting and bowling," said Fletcher.
"He feels as though there is a weight off his shoulders."