Nasser Hussain wants another Position for Stokes in Team

Andrew Flintoff’s countryman Nasser Hussain reckons that it wouldn’t be such a bad thing for England if Ben Stokes is awarded one more demerit point in the last match of the West Indies test series and there is a ban imposed on him by the International Cricket Council.

The International Cricket Council has started the system of awarding demerit points to the players for their bad behaviour during a game and when a player collects a certain number of points, he has to suffer punishment in the form of a ban and the ban happens to be either of one test match or of a couple of 50-over matches.

As far as Stokes is concerned, he is just point away from getting to that mark where the ban will be imposed on him and all Hussain wants is for him to get to that mark before the Ashes series and not in the middle of it because if he suffers a ban in the middle of the Ashes series, that will be devastating for England given the kind of influence he has on the English side at the moment.

According to Hussain, if a ban has to be imposed on Stokes, this is the right time for it. If he is awarded one more demerit point during the ,a href=””>Lord’s test match, ICC will have to hand him the punishment right after that match and right after that match will be the ODI series against West Indies. So the ban that will be imposed on him will be of the ODIs and not of the test matches and that wouldn’t mean much because the selectors are probably looking to give him a break from the ODIs anyway. So while he will get the break, the sword of ban will also be lifted from his shoulders after the 2-ODI ban he gets.


England cricket legend Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff is backing Indian Premier League signing Ben Stokes to become a success.

The England all rounder was lured by IPL outfit Rising Pune Supergiants and he could make his debut on Thursday against his countryman Jos Buttler when they play Mumbai Indians.

Flintoff believes Stokes would match expectations which are quite high since he is the most expensive foreign player in the league for the year. Flintoff himself was an all rounder against the Australians in 2005 and 2009 before he was headhunted for £1 million by the Chennai Super Kings.

“I went to the IPL after being picked up for a few quid myself and I’m glad I had the chance to experience it. I found the pressure was very different from playing for Lancashire or England, and I’m not going to lie, I was always aware of it.

“In Test match cricket, you are fighting for a cause and all your energy is channelled into performing for your country. At the IPL, you are mixing with the best players in the world, and it’s a fantastic learning environment, but everything you do comes with that price tag,” Flintoff said.

He added that the new signing could “make an impact on any surface, anywhere in the world,” so he expects him to do very well in India. He hyped Stokes to become England’s best ever all rounder, hoping he would match Sir Ian Botham’s levels.

The star was hurt after England failed to defeat West Indies in the World Twenty20 final. Carlos Brathwaite’s four straight sixes gave them a sensational win, leaving England devastated. His £1.7 million price tag is big news in the IPL, and he would likely want to prove a point.

Andrew Flintoff backs Kohli’s Form Overseas

Andrew Flintoff disagrees to those who say Virat Kohli is not as good overseas as he is in his own backyard.

In Flintoff’s opinion, Kohli may have had a bad tour to England three years ago, but, when he features in red-ball Cricket in UK in future, he will excel for sure because he has the tools to play against swing bowling.

Flintoff also doesn’t think that anyone in the world right now can match Kohli in terms of all round batting.
As per Flintoff, Kohli looks perfectly suited to whichever format he plays. If it’s the longest format, he plays the crafting game and does not try to do anything airy fairy. And as he comes to ODIs and T20s, he switches himself to a different mode and starts smashing everyone for fours and sixes and he doesn’t even have to look ugly for that because of a huge range of skills that he is blessed with.

The rankings of the ICC don’t suggest that Kohli is the best with the bat because he is not topping the rankings either in tests or the ODIs at the moment, but, the other side of the coin is that barring him, nobody else is averaging in the fifties in all forms of the game.

Also, it’s Kohli’s strike rate in the shorter forms and his capability to finish games despite being a top order batsman is what makes him stand apart in the eyes of Flintoff.

The other players who are considered to be in the league of Kohli, be it Smith or Root, they also have a decent strike rate, but, they don’t double up the role of the innings-builder and the finisher for their teams which Kohli does for India.


The Big Bash league recently saw a lot of laughter from the spectators and the commentators as Andrew Flintoff went on to sing a record hit song “In the Ghetto” by Elvis Presley while fielding in the Big Bash after being requested to do it by English commentator, David Lloyd.

In the list of the greatest all-rounders ever produced by England, Andrew Flintoff ranks just behind Sir Ian Botham as one of the greatest all-rounders, which a look at his career also proves.

Turning 39 recently, Flintoff has remained a public spectacle due to a flourishing TV career after he ended his cricketing career in 2010 which came as a result of a serious knee injury. Since then, he has ventured into series of profession, from one as a professional boxer, to another as a reality TV Star, and yet another as he tried to venture into baseball.

In 2014 however, he made a comeback into the cricketing world as he signed up to represent Lancashire, his boyhood club in the Twenty20 format.

In the 2014-15 Big Bash League, Flintoff the former captain of the England cricket team signed on the dotted line to represent Brisbane Heat. He however failed to once again replicate his magic that say him ranked amongst the top all-rounders in his generation, but managed to enjoy a lot of fun in Australia, his old adversary.

The buttoned mic is an on-field innovation in the BBL that allows for the players to interact with the commentators. This technology was put to good use by Lloyd as he requested Flintoff to reel out any song by Elvis Presley.

Flintoff happily obliged as he went on to sing “In the Ghetto” one of Presley’s greatest hit, thus making the commentator and spectators burst into laughter.

Joe Root Losing Wicket Consistently between 50 and 100

Joe Root is cross with himself to have been losing his wicket between 50 and 100 more often than not.

The other batsmen of this era who are being tipped to be future legends are all frequent century scorers, but, Root, although he is as consistent as anyone else and averages as high as anyone else as well or even higher, has struggled to record three figures too many times.

Half centuries are a regular for him, almost every second or third innings, but, at the end of the day, there is no bigger criteria to rate a test match player than the hundreds’ tally.

Yes, the consistency is always acknowledged and people understand the importance of the average too, but, nothing as important as hundreds in the 5-day game.
Root reckons he would perhaps be letting himself switch off when he is in and feels that the proceedings are under his control. And, because of that loss in composure while being in the comfort zone, he would look to be disdainful to even the good balls which are always around the corner in international Cricket.

According to Root, that has to do only with focus and he would definitely not call it complacency. And, more than worrying him or anything, it’s sort of irritating him. He would be happy to take the walk to the hut if the bowler had the better of him with his skill, but, to hand it to the bowler himself is definitely irksome.

Root was out caught at short extra cover in Durham the other day on a short ball which made quite an ugly viewing and again it was his audaciousness to back him to play a whip off a ball of that height.

The 25-year old, at this moment in time, has 17 tons in total for England, 9 in red ball matches.

England lost the first game of the ongoing twenty 20

England lost the first game of the ongoing twenty 20 series against South Africa at Newlands, Cape Town yesterday.

It was Chris Morris again who did the trick for South Africa scoring the required 14 runs in the last over of the innings.

Chasing a very low score on a flat deck, the Proteas made it difficult for themselves as they tried to be overcautious in the chase.

And at one stage, the game had almost slipped out of their hands.

But, thanks to those two timely boundary strikes off Morris’ bat, they managed to reach the target and took an unbeatable lead of one nil.

There is one more game to go in the series which will take place in Johannesburg on Sunday.

The first half of this South Africa tour was brilliant for England as they won the test series and then, won the first couple of games of the One Day International series as well.

But, there has been a change of momentum ever since and they have now lost 4 games in a row.

And, a couple of those losses, they would be absolutely gutted about as they were so close.

The 4th ODI, if they had not dropped the vital catches in that game, they would perhaps have won it and would have sealed the series as well in that case.

And, then, in this twenty 20 game as well, there were a lot of runs to defend for them in 20th over.

Fourteen runs are not easy to score for a lower order batsman under pressure. But, some lose bowling by Topley proved to be costly.

England would definitely believe they could have made the tour so much better for themselves if they had not committed those small mistakes at key moments.

However, they would now look to win the last twenty 20 that is left and finish the tour on a high.

Australia beat England in the Old Trafford series

Australia beat England in the Old Trafford series decider yesterday.

The bowlers starred in that game for the Kangaroos as they bundled England out for just 138 on a flat wicket.

When England won the toss in the morning, it seemed they had snatched great advantage as batting would be quite easy in bright sunshine.

But, Australia broke through in the very first over.
Mitchell Starc, the left arm quick who was back in the XI for Australia after being rested for the 4th game, trapped Jason Roy plumb in front twice.

The batsman reviewed the decision for the first time and got away with it, but, he preferred not to do so when he was adjudged leg before the very next ball again.

Roy perhaps would have been able to get that decision overruled as well as the television replays showed that the ball would have missed leg stump.

That early dismissal of Roy, who had been in great form throughout the series, just disturbed the rhythm of England’s innings.

James Taylor, another in-form player, returned to the shed cheaply too, while, Eoin Morgan had to retire hurt after taking a blow on the head off Starc’s bowling.
Nobody from the lower order held the fort for that long a period of time either.

138 was not a challenging total at all in almost perfect batting conditions.

Australia, as they usually do in short run chases, went after the bowling in full swing.

Although, Joe Burns and Steven Smith got out early, Aaron Finch kept playing attacking Cricket and George Bailey joined in on the act too later on with some cracking shots off the leg spinner Rashid.

Both the players remained not out with half centuries to their name as Australia completed the series win easily.

England might make two changes in the playing XI

England might make two changes in the playing XI for the third game of the ongoing Ashes series.

One would obviously be Jonny Bairstow replacing Gary Ballance who has been dropped after a run of poor shows in the recent test matches.

Apart from that, there also have been talks that Mark Wood might have to make space for Steven Finn.

Wood was pretty unimpressive in both the innings at Lord’s. His pace was down and he did not look penetrative which prompted some of the experts to say that the selectors should think about resting him.

Wood himself has, however, come out and made his views clear that he does not need any rest at this point of time and his lack of pace at Lord’s was only because of the unresponsive pitch and not because of exhaustion factor.

As far as Finn is concerned, he last played a test match for England one and half years back against Australia.

He took a couple of wickets in that game, but, at a very expensive rate and ended up losing his place to Tim Bresnan.

Thereafter, he experienced a massive slump which saw him being declared ‘unselectable’ by the team management.

However, in the recent times, in limited over Cricket, he has put on some good fast bowling performances and it is believed widely that he can add that X factor to the England attack if given a go at Edgbaston.

The Ashes is nicely poised at the moment with both the teams equalized at 1-1.

The third game is extremely vital and neither of the two teams would want to lose it at any cost.
Australia, in all likelihood, would field the same playing XI that had fetched them a historic win at Lord’s.

Cricketing world is of the view that Australia

Almost the entire Cricketing world is of the view that Australia would be able to break the jinx of losing three consecutive Ashes series on English soil this time around, but, Andrew Flintoff doesn’t think so.

As per Flintoff, the series will end up with the result of 2-1 in England’s favour.

Flintoff, who was one of the Ashes heroes for England in the last decade, reckons there isn’t much to choose from the current squads of England and Australia. England might actually be a little stronger if the conditions are taken into account.

In a television programme last Friday, Flintoff said, “I can see everybody is sort of dismissing England at this point of time, but, we have seen in the past, whenever that has been the case, England have come up good and have just shut people up. I believe it would happen again.”

“In the series against the Black Caps, it was really heartening to see the guys play the way they did and I would be really happy if they continue to be that ruthless in the Ashes.”

“The Aussies are not unbeatable; let me tell you that, not much fear factor in there. If I take the conditions and the pitches in consideration, I would say England is a little more balanced in comparison to them.”

“I know they would be carrying the confidence of the 5-0 whitewash. They would be slightly arrogant as well, but, honestly speaking, I don’t see them winning the series. If I have to make a prediction, I would say the series would be a close one, but, England would clinch it two games to one.”

The first game of the Ashes 2015 will start from the 8th of this month in Cardiff.

England will be playing a One Day International match against Ireland

England will be playing a One Day International match against Ireland this summer under the captaincy of James Taylor.

Most of the England limited-over regulars would not be available for that game.

Some are on the West Indies tour with the test squad, while, some are busy playing in the Indian Premier League.
However, giving Taylor the captaincy has raised some eyebrows.

The Nottinghamshire batsman is considered a misfit for limited over games by some of the experts because of his inability to play hard hits and he was believed to be going to fall out of favour post his ordinary World Cup display.

But, it looks like the English selectors are again looking to take the conventional route as always. They want that little bit of solidity in the middle order.

That’s been England’s problem actually. The Cricket has changed these days, but, they are not ready to accept the fact.

The modern day Cricket demands creativity, audacity and power.

Yes, there is always a little bit of room for class in the game, but, you can’t think of building your team around 4 or 5 defensive batsmen as far as 50-over format is concerned.

England, though, has been pretty reluctant to go with the unorthodox players.

Somebody like Jason Roy, who has been doing well in the domestic circuit for the last two years, was given just a game against India last year and he was out.

These aggressive players would obviously fail once or twice, but, you have to stick to them as they would win you matches too.

The other teams are doing that, but, not England. They are still willing to rely on the Taylors and the Bells and that’s not going to help them.

The sooner they realize that the One Day International Cricket is not the same any more, the better.