England says Aussies fear Flintoff - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

England says Aussies fear Flintoff

By Valkerie Mangnall and Daniel Brettig 13/09/2006 06:19:44 AM Comments (0)

England believes Australia fears Andrew Flintoff, who was named captain of the side which will attempt to defend the Ashes away from home later this year.

Flintoff won a close battle with Andrew Strauss to lead the side when chairman of selectors David Graveney announced a 16-man tour squad at The Oval, where England won back cricket's prized urn exactly a year ago.

"He has the ability with both bat and ball to lead from the front," Graveney said of Flintoff.

"I think the Australians fear him, as they do fear a lot of our players.

"He will realise, as we have experienced in past tours, that the Australians will target the captain.

"With the ability that Freddie has, he's got two roles, as a batsman and a bowler, and he's an inspirational player."

Regular captain Michael Vaughan was ruled out of the tour some time ago after undergoing knee surgery.

Flintoff replaced him as skipper in India and proved inspirational, leading the team to a 1-1 Test series.

He also captained England at home in the drawn Test series against Sri Lanka, but succumbed to an ankle problem and underwent surgery in July.

He has not played since, and that's when Strauss stepped in.

After a 5-0 one-day loss at the hands of Sri Lanka, Strauss led an injury-depleted England to a 3-0 Test series win over Pakistan, including the controversial forfeited fourth match, and an impressive fightback to level the one-day series 2-2.

But Flintoff, who recently began running again, said his recovery was progressing ahead of schedule.

"I'm very proud, excited about having the chance to lead the side in Australia," Flintoff said.

"Andrew Strauss did a fantastic job over the past few months against Pakistan and he's going to be someone who's going to be very important for myself."

Australian captain Ricky Ponting said he was surprised by England's gamble in naming a currently un-fit player as captain.

"I did think Strauss would get the nod, yeah," he said.

"They haven't gone that way, I don't know why, but we'll just have to wait and see what sort of job (Flintoff) does when he arrives in Australia."

Also included was spinner Ashley Giles, who has not played for England since last November and is returning from two hip operations.

Squad: England: Andrew Flintoff (capt), Marcus Trescothick, Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Chris Read, Geraint Jones, Ashley Giles, Monty Panesar, Stephen Harmison, Matthew Hoggard, Sajid Mahmood, Liam Plunkett, James Anderson.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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