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Flintoff focused on Ashes decider

Fifth Ashes Test, The Oval: England v Australia
Dates: Thursday, 20 August to Monday, 24 August Start time: 1100 BST
Coverage: Live Test Match Special commentary (from 1025 BST on day one, 1045 BST on remaining days) on BBC Radio 4 LW, 5 Live sports extra, the Red Button and BBC Sport website. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobile phones. Also live on Sky Sports.

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I'll be ready for final Test - Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff says he is not thinking about his imminent retirement from Test cricket ahead of the decisive Ashes Test against Australia at The Oval.

With the series level at 1-1 going into Thursday's start, England need to win to regain the Ashes.

"It's my last Test but I'm not too fussed about that. It's more the chance to win the Ashes again," Flintoff said.

"I'm not the first to say I'm retiring during a series and I won't be the last. The occasion's bigger than that."

Flintoff, 31, was one of the mainstays of England's memorable series win in 2005, but has performed at his best only in patches in this series and missed the fourth Test drubbing at Headingley because of the long-standing knee injury which has caused him to retire.

But the Lancashire all-rounder is confident his body is up to the challenge.

"I've been working with (physio) Dave Roberts, had some batting over the weekend, and bowled on Tuesday. I'm confident I'll come through," he added.

"I'm probably in a better state than I was going into the third Test at Edgbaston. I think I'm more or less there, I just have to prove it."

England's innings-and-80-run defeat in the most recent match at Leeds was a shock to the system, but he said the winner-takes-all nature of the series decider meant it would not play too much on the minds of the England team.

"I think the week off has been important for the lads. You talk about momentum - it seems to be the buzzword of the minute - but this is a one-off Test match."

606: DEBATE
goldenduck

Flintoff told BBC Sport that victory in this series, where the team had had to cope without himself and Kevin Pietersen at various times, would be a bigger achievement than winning in 2005.

"In 2005, it was on back of three years of domination where we came in expecting to do something or win," he said.

"The side have gone through a lot on and off field over the last 12 months. With a lot of youngsters who've not played in Ashes before and with the things I've gone through from 2005, from a team and a personal point of view, it'd be a greater achievement."



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see also
SA too strong for Trott - Arthur
18 Aug 09 |  England
Flintoff named in England squads
17 Aug 09 |  England
England gamble on uncapped Trott
16 Aug 09 |  England
Flintoff cleared for Ashes finale
10 Aug 09 |  England
Aussies win to level Ashes series
09 Aug 09 |  England
Pietersen named in Trophy squad
24 Jul 09 |  England
Flintoff quits Tests after Ashes
15 Jul 09 |  Cricket
ICC Champions Trophy 2009 squads
25 Aug 09 |  Cricket
ICC Champions Trophy 2009
05 Oct 09 |  Cricket
Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England


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