Tuesday, 23 November 2010

If Freddie says we'll win - we will!

He often got his own way on the field and England fans will be hoping he gets his own way off it.

Andrew Flintoff has boldly predicted England will win down under and retain the Ashes for the first time in 24 years.

The 32-year-old, who retired in September following a long battle with a knee injury, believes England simply have the better players and singled out Graeme Swann, Kevin Pietersen and James Anderson as potential match winners.

Indeed Swann is highly tipped to be among the top wicket takers in the series. The 31-year-old has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and is now one of the best spinners in the world and the Ashes betting offers reflect this.

For the first time in decades England now have the better spinner going into an Ashes test, the looming spectre of the legendary Shane Warne will hang heavy over debutant Xavier Doherty at the first Test in Brisbane.

James Anderson is another who has added consistency to his game in recent years, but questions still remain about his ability to bowl in non-swing-friendly conditions.

A master under cloudy damp skies on green tinged pitches, the challenge is on for the Lancashire star when bowling under the bright blue skies of Australia.

Kevin Pietersen goes into this game perhaps under more pressure than anyone in the England side. The England batsman, who has just signed for Surrey for the 2011 season, has been in patchy form for his country this year and was dismissed cheaply in the final warm up game against Australia A and anyone looking at the Ashes best odds would have been worried by this.

That dismissal, from left arm spinner Steve O'Keefe, has reportedly prompted the Aussie selectors to go with Xavier Doherty for the first Test in the hope Pietersen's woes will continue.

But if Pietersen is one thing it is a fighter and nothing motivates him more than a clash with Australia. I wouldn't bet against KP being amongst the runs when the action kicks off in Brisbane on Thursday.


Tim said...

Hi Phil

Sorry I have been a bit awol of late - hope to contribute more! Thanks for keeping going though, much appreciated.

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