Andrew Flintoff playing for England

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There's no point trying to be clever with your choice of heroWe were hugely, hugely impressed with Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie in the Lord’s Test. We don’t care what the pitch was like – just imagine coming out to bat after you’ve been so comprehensively trampled for three days. Imagine what would have happened to England in the same situation.

Beaten men play crap cricket. These pair summoned some almighty resolve to do what they did. Playing one beautiful shot is easy – that’s a one-off. Playing virtually no stupid shots for an entire day is quite another. You can’t fluke that. That is near-superhuman concentration.

Would Andrew Flintoff have dispatched them? Maybe, but there’s no way of knowing, so let’s not go down that road – it looks busy down there, for one thing. It seems fairly certain that he’ll return now though and that IS a big deal. It’s like real cricket’s back.

If Flintoff does replace Collingwood, we’ve some good news for those who are worried about a potentially flimsy middle order. Someone’s had a word with Fred and given him some top quality coaching which should sort out his batting once and for all.

In his own words: “I’ve been seeing the ball well all season, but my body and my hands aren’t going in the right places.”

Diagnosing the problem’s 80 percent of the battle.


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  1. “but my body and my hands aren’t going in the right places.”

    I have that problem, after Grolsch oclock, every night.

  2. Surely Flintoff will just come in as a direct replacement for a bowler? Anderson is my bet, his unconventional bowling style, has been tolerated, but never really accepted by the ECB. if he does replace Collingwood however…. leaving england with a tail that a South African Galago would be proud off…. i have to recommend the immediate recall of Graeme Hick. surely he would plug the gaping hole that is Englands middle order.

  3. “I’ve been seeing the ball well all season, but my body and my hands aren’t going in the right places.”

    The EXACT opposite of Cap’n Mickey then – body and hands beautifully in place but the fathead doesn’t see the ball going right past him onto the bloody wicket

  4. All this talk of a weak England middle order, Colly’s hardly been a rock of late. Much as I love the ginger ninja might Freddie, even in his current malcoordinated state, actually score more runs than the “north-eastern battler”?

  5. You missed ‘gritty’.

    ‘The gritty north-easterner’s battling qualities’ is how you back-handedly compliment Paul Collingwood.

  6. I’ve unilaterally revoked colly’s “grittyness” epithet until he actually stays at the crease long enough to show some. On a similar subject, who here isn’t against the 3rd umpire referral plans? Foreign players whinging about wrong decisions/our glorious boys having the match snatched away by a biased umpire is 80% of the game for me. The other 20% being made up of 10% enjoying watching jimmy anderson when the balls swinging, 5% shouting at broad to get a haircut and 5% hoping kamral akmal gets a bouncer in the chops…

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