According to the England’s cricket coach Andy Flower, England needs a “world class all-rounder” if they want to stay successful and maintain their number one position.
The Zimbabwean said that to stay at the top of the world rankings and fight off challengers from powerhouses’ like Australia and India having a player who can both Bat and bowl at a world class level was essential.
In his words, England needs a new Andrew Flintoff who can bat in the top order and be a leading wicket taker. Ever since Flintoff retired England has struggled to find a stable replacement, while the team has trialled several allrounders, none of them have had the same impact that Flintoff had.
His words came after England defeated Sri-lanka and levelled the test series at one all. In recent months the English team have struggled with many of their stars unable to find form. The win takes the pressure off many of England’s older players, especially their captain. Andrew Strauss was full of praise for his teammates who he said played better than they have in a long time. He revealed that he never doubted his abilities as either a player or leader despite his team’s rough patch.
In a press conference he stated that “I never had any doubts about whether this was the time for me to go. I`m very determined and committed to seeing us improve as a side. It`s been an interesting week or two but I think it`s very important that we as a side don`t get carried away with whatever the issue of the day is.”
Despite the win, England still looked vulnerable at points, tempting many barmy army fans to stick a cricket bet on England to lose, just in case!
While their batting performance was strong managing a score of 460 in their first innings, their bowling looked vulnerable at times especially in the second innings when they allowed Sri-lanka to score 258.
Born on 6th December 1977, in Preston, Lancashire, England Andrew Flintoff has been an integral part of the England team and has given a commendable performance during his captaincy.
He has been rated as one of the top players who have had an all round performance in the game for both Test cricket as well as one day Internationals. He is nicknamed Freddie who comes from Fred Flintstones, the famous cartoon character with whom he shares his surname.
Andrew Flintoff started off his cricketing career in the year 1996-1997 when he captained the under 19 England cricket team for the test match against Pakistan. His debut match was actually in the year 1998 when he played against South Africa in the year 1998, a match remembered because of a duel between Michael Atherton and Allan Donald.
Although his initial games were not that interesting and skillful he managed to improve his consistency and finally stepped up as a player recognizable from the international standards point of view. He continued his excellent performance even in the year 2003 when he played against West Indies. However due to an unforeseen injury, Andrew Flintoff suffered a loss in further matches in that year but managed to make it to the England squad which played at the Nat West One day International in the year 2004.
The year 2006 proved to be fruitful to him as he was selected to captain the England cricket team in the Test match against India. This decision was made spontaneously due to the unavailability of the existing captain Michael Vaughan.
His performance as a captain was excellent and marvelous and this helped him in becoming the vice captain after Michael Vaughan returned back to captaincy in the year 2007. Despite his injuries and other drawbacks, he managed to make a strong come back and has done a number of challenging experiments to make sure that he has made a name for himself in the cricketing world.