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Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Flintoff’

Australia Feels The Heat As Battle Resumes Today

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

The inclusion of Shane Watson at the top-order will be a gamble that Australia takes after dropping specialist opener Phil Hughes. The biggest advantage of Watson’s come back will be the boost that the bowling department gets, considering the lack of form of their ‘spearhead’- Mitchell Johnson. Johnson has had a forgettable tour in which he has struggled terribly. This is quite contrary to what we witnessed in South Africa, where the hosts were probed and tested by ferocious fast bowling from Johnson.

Phil Hughes has been a weak link at the top as he finds it difficult to combat the short deliveries. Flintoff dismissed him in similar fashion in both innings at Lords where Australia lost to England after long 75 years. Though Phil Hughes is a teenage prodigy and has the potential to play at the international level, his techniques need refinement. Playing first class cricket would be the best option for him to improve, as Australia is famous for their strong domestic circuit.

Shane Watson, perhaps one of best all-rounders in world cricket today, will also have a point to prove after coming back from a short break. Australia will be under a lot of pressure to make it 1-1 after the demoralizing defeat at Lords. They will be relieved by the exclusion news of Kevin Pieterson due to injury, however would be wary of the presence of Andrew Flintoff, who annihilated the Australians at the home of cricket.

Will Australia Overcome The Menace Of Freddie?

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

As the countdown to Edgbaston begins, the Australians are pondering on different issues ahead of the crucial third test. With Brett Lee ruled out and the dismal form of Mitchell Johnson, Australia will have to rely a lot on their rookie fast bowlers– Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle for making early inroads into the formidable English batting. Above all, the main cause of concern will be their batsmen playing against Andrew Flintoff, who has been a menace for Australia right through this Ashes series.

Though everyone lauds the effort of Flintoff at Lords, we cannot forget the fact that his performance against the right-handers has been a blot in his resume. In his 12 Ashes Tests, He has picked up 42 wickets out of which only 18 have been the right-handers. Out of that 18 wickets, there were only 6 specialist batsmen. The current Australian XI consists of 6 lefties, which is an apparent advantage for Flintoff.

The best strategy to combat Flintoff will be mixing up the right-handers at the top of the order and including Shane Watson ahead of Marcus North. Watson will be handier than North in English conditions, as Australia will be desperate to seize a win in order to stay alive in this series.

Lord of the Lords

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

It can’t get any better than this! The long hard wait of 75 years is over and what a way Flintoff has wrapped up the Australian innings with a hostile and fiery spell. It was his final appearance for England in the longest version of the game at lords and nothing less than yesterday’s feat would have satisfied ‘Freddie’.

The final day started off with England as the favorites. However Australia too looked upbeat about clinching a thriller with Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin at the crease. England was in search for that solitary wicket which would expose the Australian tail. Flintoff drew the first blood of the day by removing Haddin in his first over and put England on the brink of the historic win. Mitchell Johnson had provided an excellent support to Clarke, who was bowled by Greame Swann, when he tried to play on the up. After the exit of Clarke, it was just formality, but Johnson showed some character and played some magnificent shots. Finally Swann removed Johnson to complete an emphatic win and recapture the castle after 75 years.

Flintoff was firing on all cylinders in his last match at Lords. His reverse swinging inswingers against the right-handers proved lethal during his fiery spell. All the wickets he got on the last day were of peach deliveries. It would not have answers even from the batting maestros. He was right on the money from the first ball and his length perplexed the Aussie batsmen. Flintoff showed with his performance, why he is being called as ‘People’s Hero’ and he has given them the best gift, which the Brits will cherish for long.

Will Freddie Make The Cut?

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

The summer of 2005 will be known for ‘Freddie’ Flintoff’s staggering performance against the mighty Aussies, which helped the English to reclaim the Ashes urn after a very long time. When the Ashes comes back to the home of cricket after a gap of 4 years, Flintoff is nursing a knee surgery, which he sustained during the IPL in South Africa. This injury ruined England’s chances at the ICC World T20, in which they were knocked out at the Super Eight stage. 

Regardless of his patchy batting form since 2005, Andrew Flintoff has evolved as the strike bowler of England after the disappearance of Simon Jones; who had deceived the Aussies with his sorcerous reverse swing. Flintoff couldn’t manage to get a single international century after 2005 but he has launched several breathtaking assaults during this period. He has clocked 140k’s consistently with steep bounce, which halted several greats.

The availability of Andrew Flintoff for the Ashes remains still uncertain. Currently, it would be an even contest on papers based on the form of both teams. If he plays, then England will have an apparent edge over Australia, which will set the stands on fire. England is desperately looking for a triumph which can repair their tainted image caused by the early exit from the T20 World Cup held in their home soil.


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