Flintoff dreams of a perfect farewell

All-rounder says he will play remaining four Tests

Flintoff dreams of a perfect farewell

incomparable: England’s Andrew Flintoff has set his focus on regaining the Ashes. APFlintoff insisted he is determined to play the entire series inspite of his troublesome knee and help England lift the Ashes at the end of the fifth and final Test at the Oval.

“I said before this match that these will be my last four Test matches. To be on that podium at the Oval would, for me, be the perfect way to go,” the 31-year-old burly all-rounder said.

“And the encouraging thing is that I bowled the best part of 40 overs in this Test, and I feel fine apart from a few aches and pains. I may have been in a bit of discomfort, but I have played most of my career in discomfort, so for me that’s nothing new,” he said.

Flintoff said he was little disappointed to quit Test cricket at a time when he feels he is getting better day by day as a bowler.

“It’s quite sad in some ways. I feel I am getting better as a bowler, so it’s unfortunate that my body is not standing up. I’m learning more about how to bowl.
“My length is naturally short and aggressive, but I’ve realised that once you have got the batters stepping back, the fuller ball has a bit more threat,” said Flintoff, who picked up five wickets for 92 runs in 27 overs to guide England to their first Test win at Lord’s in 75 years.

“Also I’m feeling more comfortable with the new ball. When I was younger I got caught in two minds about whether I should be swinging it or just putting it there, whereas now I just hold it seam up and try to wang it,” he added.

He cautioned his team-mates against complacency and said there is no time to relax as a wounded Australia will be eager to bounce back in the third Test at Birmingham starting July 30.

“I am pleased to have taken five wickets here. But the worst thing now would be to sit back and dine out on this.

“Australia will keep coming back at us, so we have to get better in every game,” Flintoff was quoted as saying in The Daily Telegraph.

Flntoff had announced that he would retire from Test cricket at the end of the Ashes series, but will be available for selection in one-day internationals and Twenty20s.

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