Fletcher allays fears over Flintoff
by CricketArchive staff reporter
DateLine: 6th December 2006
England have attempted to play down concerns over the long-term fitness
of Ashes captain Andrew Flintoff who bowled only four overs on the
fourth day of the second Test in Adelaide after suffering discomfort in
his troublesome left ankle.
"Andrew has played back-to-back Tests and he's done quite a bit of
bowling and he's played quite a bit of cricket," explained coach Duncan
Fletcher ahead of Tuesday’s final day's play.
"There are no worries at the moment, but we're going to have to wait
and see over the next couple of days. From the advice we've been given
we're not even going to send him for a scan at this stage. They feel
it's just having over-bowled in back-to-back Tests. He's had this
problem in the past, but the medical staff are pretty confident at the
Ankle problems forced Flintoff into a second operation mid-summer and
sidelined him for the second half of the season. He has bowled 35 overs
in the first Test and 26 more in this.
England have been particularly careful to monitor Flintoff's workload
ever since he returned to action during the Champions Trophy in India
last month and are mindful their captain has a history of breaking down
when he does too much bowling.
Fletcher was full of praise for Yorkshire seam bowler Matthew Hoggard,
who finished with 7-109 on a flat pitch.
"He stuck to his task and also bowled into the wind for a lot of those
overs and just showed the character of the individual," enthused
Fletcher. "He stuck to the disciplines that were required. We thought a
skiddy bowler would probably play quite a big role on this pitch. One
of the reasons he's been such a useful member of our side is that he is
prepared to run through a brick wall for you. He's bowled a lot of
overs in the last two days but he's still pretty cheery and he's that
kind of individual that's really prepared to stick it out. He's learned
different variations from touring the sub-continent when the swing goes
pretty quickly and you've got to learn to bowl different types of balls
with variation of pace and off-cutters, which can be confusing on
pitches like this and it showed yesterday."