x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Australia flattened by Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff, the hero of England's victory over Australia, will continue to play through the pain barrier to ensure his Test career ends in an Ashes series victory.

LONDON // Andrew Flintoff, the hero of England's victory over Australia yesterday, will continue to play through the pain barrier to ensure his Test career ends in an Ashes series victory. The all-rounder produced a great fast-bowling display to inspire Andrew Strauss' side to their first victory over Australia at Lord's in 75 years. Flintoff was only passed fit on the eve of the Test match following further problems with his troublesome right knee and there are fears that the 39 overs he bowled in the match could take its toll.

However, Flintoff is confident he will be fit to take his place in the side at Edgabston for the third Test, which begins on July 30. "I've got three Tests matches to go before I retire from Test cricket and I will do anything to get out on the field," he said. "I'm in discomfort, but I've spent most of my career in discomfort so it's nothing new. I want to play a major part in these next three Test matches."

Strauss said he is "very hopeful we will have a fit squad to choose from for the next Test match", but Andy Flower, the England team director, says Flintoff will not be selected if the medical team feel he is not able to last the full five days. "He's got to be able to guarantee he can last a full game," said Flower. "We'll get medical advice to see if that is a probability." England are also sweating over the fitness of Kevin Pietersen. "He's been struggling with that Achilles and been in a lot of pain," said Flower. "There is a break between the second and third Test to assess how he is."

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