Flintoff Still To Prove Fitness For Fourth Ashes Test
Friday, 07 August 2009

Andrew Flintoff's fitness for the fourth Ashes Test was still in doubt on Thursday after the England all-rounder struggled with the ball in a net session.

"He bowled this morning and it didn't look like he was quite 100 percent," captain Andrew Strauss said at a news conference ahead of the match, which starts on Friday.

"We will sit down with the medical staff and with Fred (Flintoff) this afternoon and discuss the situation."

Flintoff, retiring from Test cricket after the Ashes series against Australia, will not be given the final say on whether he is fit enough to play, Strauss said.

"We will take the player's opinion on board because he knows his own body but ultimately is is a decision for myself and the coach," the captain said.

Flintoff's bowling inspired England to victory in the second Test at Lord's and although he did not take a wicket in the drawn third match at Edgbaston and looked to be struggling with his knee injury, he top-scored for the hosts with 74.

"When you are a captain of a team you are motivated to do what is right for the team," Strauss said. "The last thing he wants to do is to play and then not be able to play a full part in the game."

Strauss said England, 1-0 up in the series, would not be adopting a defensive approach.

"We have two Tests to go and we have to win one of them," he said. "We are not talking about drawing them at all and that is quite a liberating feeling.

"It's hard not to be motivated, focussed and pretty excited about this Test match. We've shown so far this series we can match this Australian team and beat them."

Source: bdnews24.com

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