Andrew Flintoff returns to England Test squad

July 15th, 2008 - 8:07 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 15 (IANS) England allrounder Andrew Flintoff will make a comeback to the Test squad after a gap of 18 months. His inclusion in the 12-man squad for Friday’s second Test against South Africa at Headingley was widely expected, given his progress from the fourth operation to his troublesome left ankle last September.

Timing a comeback after coping with as many injuries and operations as Flintoff has endured is always delicate, and medical staff working with him have always wanted him to get more overs into his legs.

“Before this summer I can’t remember the last time I bowled totally fit,” Flintoff was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.

Flintoff replaces Chris Tremlett in the 12. But whether Flintoff will play in the Test match will depend on skipper Michael Vaughan and Peter Moores.

Although Flintoff has made runs in his last two appearances for Lancashire, he is not batting as well as he was when he last filled the No.6 slot for England. But Vaughn’s enthusiasm for Flintoff’s return is clear.

“Freddie has that bit of X-factor about him,” Vaughan said. “If you give him the ball, he can create something. In the past when he has gone out to bat he has made things happen, and he has the ability to take wonderful catches.”

“As a captain it’s always nice to have that kind of player in and around the team. Also his stature in the dressing-room is important. I’m sure teams around the world would rather play England without Flintoff, I’m delighted to have him back in the team,” Vaughan said.

England squad: Michael Vaughan (captain), Alistair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Tim Ambrose, Stuart Broad, Ryan Sidebottom, Monty Panesar, James Anderson and Andrew Flintoff.

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