Strauss to keep an eye on Flintoff workload
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Player:AJ Strauss, A Flintoff, IR Bell
Event:Australia in British Isles 2009

DateLine: 28th July 2009


England skipper Andrew Strauss will manage Andrew Flintoff's fitness carefully after revealing he expects him to play in the third Test at Edgbaston.


All-rounder Flintoff is troubled by a chronic knee problem and this threatened his participation in the remaining three matches of the Ashes series but Strauss is confident the team's talisman, will spearhead England's attack when the series resumes at Edgbaston on Thursday.


The England captain though said he will have one eye on the remaining fixtures at Headingley and The Oval when deciding Flintoff's workload.


"A lot depends on how much bowling Freddie does at Edgbaston," said Strauss.


"He's very keen to play in the remaining three Tests and will do everything he can to make sure he's available for those.


"So far it doesn't look like his knee injury has deteriorated but the reality is you enter a Test match with everyone 100% fit to play otherwise they're not in the team.


"As captain I will be juggling the bowling attack according to what the match situation dictates.


"Clearly we don't want Fred to be bowling millions of overs when conditions aren't in his favour. That's important to look at.


"But if we get into a winning position and he's the right bowler to take us to victory then we'll be expecting him to put in a similar sort of effort to Lord's.


"All the indications so far are that Andrew will be fine for Edgbaston. We need to see how he goes over the next couple of days during practice.


"But at this stage we are very confident that he will be ready and obviously he will want to build on his performance at Lord's."


Strauss also spoke about the batting order and confirmed that Ian Bell will bat at four as a direct replacement for the injured Kevin Pietersen.


Bell has not been at his best against Australia and in 10 Tests that Bell has played against the Aussies, he has struggled to make his presence felt which is understood by his average of 25.10 against them as compared to his overall Test mark of 40.59.


"What a great opportunity for Ian to come back and show what a good player he is, which I'm very confident he will do," said Strauss.


"He can also clear up any misgivings that people have about his record against Australia. I'm very excited about having him back.


"He's had to dig deep to get back into the team, has done everything right and I'm sure he'll be desperate to take his chance and prove he can become an important member of the team."


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