Denly, the 34-year-old batsman, managed 18 and 29 in the Southampton Test, and has now gone without a single fifty in his last eight Test innings, and a single century in his 15 Tests so far. Root, who was unavailable for the Test owing to the birth of his second child, is expected to return to the side for the Manchester game, where one of Crawley or Denly is likely to make way.
“It’s not even a conversation,” Vaughan told BBC Sport. “You could argue that Denly was very lucky to have played 15 Test matches. There are a lot of players who have played only eight Tests and got hundreds.
“He has missed his chance and they have to stick with Crawley. I’m sorry for Denly – he’s just not good enough.”
Crawley, Denly’s Kent teammate and 12 years his junior, made a strong case for himself against the Jason Holder-led attack, top-scoring with 76 in England’s first innings.
“England have a decision to make on Denly,” Vaughan said. “Crawley surely has to stay in the side.”
While Denly occupied the No.3 spot, Crawley took Root’s position at four, acknowledging that the tussle for a middle-order spot was “a tough scenario” for the two.
“That’s not my place to say,” Crawley said when asked about the possible line-up for the second Test. “My job is to score runs, and that is what I will try to continue to do as long as I get a chance. It is for the powers that be to decide. Joe has done extremely well over the past year and it’s a tough scenario.”