It was a mixed day for Andrew Flintoff at Gabbatoire last Sunday. He was playing a competitive game of cricket on a foreign ground after a very long time. So, it must have been special, but, he could not play as well for his team Brisbane Heat as a big player like him should have.
With his poor bowling in the penultimate over of the game, Flintoff had given the opposition team a chance to snatch win from the jaws of defeat, but, thanks to Ryan Duffield who bowled some god low full-tosses at the end to keep the Melbourne Stars two runs away from the target.
Before that, Flintoff had wasted some valuable deliveries while batting too. He scored 15 off 13 balls, but, apart from that one shot which he hit over the long on boundary for six, he did not get any from the middle of the bat.
In fact, on the last two deliveries of the Heat’s innings, he swung like a tail-ender and missed on both the occasions. There was a slight bit of embarrassment on his face when he was returning to the hut and that’s obvious considering how great a cricketer he has been over the years in all forms.
It’s hard for Flintoff surely. A game which has not played for 5 years and then, to come back and play at a competitive level straightaway, it takes a lot of mental and physical adjustments.
Of course, he would have been training and practicing for the last couple of months for the Big Bash League, but, still, he cannot become the player that he was, that same all-rounder who was devastating in both the departments of the game, the batting and the bowling. The age has got on him as well. He is 37 now.