Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Player Profile: Andrew Flintoff

The Ashes 2009

Player Profiles and Predictions

by Chris Smith

Andrew Flintoff

England’s talisman and most consistent bowler is the player that the Australians will fear the most in the England team. He can do it with bat and ball and at the same time has the capacity to get the whole country behind him and the England team like no other player can. Flintoff carried England to victory on a wave of emotion in 2005 and evoked a passion for cricket in English people that had been lying dormant for many years. He is an exciting player who wears his heart on his sleeve on the cricket field, something that for most fans of any sport is truly entertaining and inspirational.

It goes without saying that for England to be successful Flintoff needs to be on form and conversely for Australia one of the keys to the series is to subdue him, which will also have the effect of subduing the crowds in England, the best 12th man England have in their ranks (even better than Gary Pratt). Flintoff’s bowling is less of a worry than his batting. I am convinced if there’s swing he’ll find it and he will bowl in the right areas for every batsman, in this he has been very reliable for England for a number of years now and his injury seems not to have diminished his ability to do this. His inconsistency of late has been in his batting. Flintoff was such a key to England’s success when he was batting well and England’s tail didn’t necessarily have to last a long time in support of him for Flintoff to get lots of runs, he was destructive. Flintoff’s batting recently brings back memories of his first few years in test cricket, where his technique and temperament was found wanting. He seems to have a particular weakness against spin at the moment, so he may be fortunate that the Australians may come to England without a world-class spinner. Confidence is the key to Flintoff’s batting and a need to sure up his play outside the off-stump. Even at his best Flintoff never left many balls, but there was a conviction and control when he played them, this is what he needs to rediscover.


Flintoff makes a massive difference to the England team in all departments and I am in no doubt that he will rise to the occasion once again and inspire the England team. However, expect a greater impact with the ball in his hand than with the bat. England’s bowler of the series but may struggle with the bat.

Career statistics (as of 30/11/08)

Overall: Matches: 70 Runs: 3494 Ave: 32.35
Wickets: 206 Ave: 32.21

Vs Australia: Matches: 11 Runs: 706 Ave: 33.61
Wickets: 42 Ave: 29.59