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Page last updated at 14:47 GMT, Thursday, 24 July 2008 15:47 UK

Flintoff not ready to bat at six

Andrew Flintoff
Flintoff made 38 in England's second innings against South Africa

Andrew Flintoff will not push for an immediate return to the number six berth in the England side after batting at seven in the Headingley Test defeat.

The Lancashire star told BBC Radio Manchester: "I am pleased batting at seven. The only way I will force my way up the order is by scoring runs.

"After spending time at the crease in the Test, I feel confident I can do that, though seven for now is fine."

At Headingley, Tim Ambrose batted at six against South Africa.

The wicketkeeper, with limited experience of Test cricket, scored 12 and 36 and there was surprise that he had been asked to take on such an important role.

Although England are now 1-0 down with just two matches to play, it seems they will either have to persist with Ambrose or promote the bowler Stuart Broad to that position.

Alternatively they could pick Matt Prior to keep wicket and bat at six, or drop a bowler and bring back a specialist batsman such as Paul Collingwood or Owais Shah.

Flintoff also said Lancashire team-mate James Anderson would be the key bowler for the remainder of the series.

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Anderson took three wickets in the defeat at Headingley after being the leading wicket-taker in the series win against New Zealand.

"Jimmy is a class performer and we're going to need him," said Flintoff.

"We'll need the likes of Jimmy, [Michael] Vaughan and [Ian] Bell if we want to win the series.

"Jimmy is a class act who came into the side as a young lad and performed and had instant success.

"He then didn't find it too easy after that. In the past 18 months or so, we've seen Jimmy Anderson grow up and I think people forget he is only 25 years old."

Bell scored 199 in the drawn Test at Lord's, but tossed away his wicket twice at Headingley, playing loose shots early in both innings.

Skipper Vaughan is under pressure after scores of 0, 2 and 21 in the series.




see also
Horton rues lack of one-day games
23 Jul 08 |  Lancashire
Cumbes applauds ECB Twenty20 plan
16 Jul 08 |  Lancashire
Flintoff happy with batting form
14 Jul 08 |  Lancashire
Duo keep Hampshire in contention
23 Jul 08 |  Counties
Flintoff leads Lancs to victory
14 Jul 08 |  Counties


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