Flintoff gives rallying cry
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Player:A Flintoff, GP Swann, SM Katich
Event:Australia in British Isles 2009

DateLine: 10th July 2009


England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff asked his mates to be optimistic following Australian domination of the second day.


Flintoff reminded his colleagues of how England addressed a similar scenario four years ago in the victorious 2005 campaign.


In that game, despite the Australians marching to an imposing 264 for one in the final Test at the Oval, the English managed to secure a first-innings lead though their score was only 373.


Speaking on the scenario, off-spinner Graeme Swann said that though the momentum is with Australia, they still have 200 runs to go.


"They certainly have the momentum after the end of second day, but happily for us we still have a nigh-on 200-run lead. And as Fred said when we got into the changing room, for those who didn't play at the Oval a few years ago, it was a very similar situation.


"It takes just one good spell to bring us right back into the game and that's what we're going to be thinking."


That time, Flintoff's magnificent spell on either side on the fourth day helped England stave off a possible threat of a defeat and hours later England had secured a draw and claimed back the famous urn.


The all-rounder proved England's main menace with the ball and finally ended with five wickets.


This time also Flintoff roughed up Australia's new boy Phillip Hughes with a hostile introduction after lunch and dismissed him in the fourth over of his spell.


"We know with Freddie, he's going to keep coming at you all day," said Katich. "Whether it's his first, second or third spell you know he going to come hard.


"England look to him for those breakthroughs when nothing is really happening."


Though Australia dominated the session post the first one, England threw some entertaining early blows with Swann's unbeaten 47 from number 10 key to 99 runs being stacked up in 75 minutes this morning.


"It was a great start," said Swann. "We talked about getting momentum and going into lunch we were pretty happy - when we came off at the end we weren't quite as happy.


"Their score probably sums up the way we bowled because we didn't put the ball in the right place often enough.


"We can whinge and moan about the ball going soft or the wicket being flat or Katich not being given out lbw to me when it was plumb but that's the way of the game.


"It turned about as much as I expected it to. I'd heard it was going to turn square but I've played here before and I know the odd ball turns but the majority don't and you have to work very hard for your wickets.


"We got a bit of false hope this morning when Nathan Hauritz got a few off the straight to turn down the leg-side and a couple out of the rough to go and it probably got us a bit too excited."


Another impressive effort came from left-hander Simon Katich who had a frightful tour in 2005.


His struggles at number six back then have been a stark contrast to his return of six hundreds in 16 Tests as an opener.


"Batting at the top of the order has probably helped me," he said. "When I did get my chance I jumped at it and I have gained confidence from each Test I have managed to string together.


"I have got a point to prove in this series and I know it will be a tough series.


"In the past 12 months I have felt I have a role to play in this team, given that we have lost so many players in the last couple of years, greats of Australian cricket."


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