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We can manage without Flintoff: Flower

Andy Flower says England can rely on its fast bowling department to do the job in the remaining Ashes Tests if star performer Andrew Flintoff goes on to miss the series due to injury.

cricket Updated: Jul 22, 2009 14:44 IST

Andy Flower says England can rely on its fast bowling department to do the job in the remaining Ashes Tests if star performer Andrew Flintoff goes on to miss the series due to injury.

Flower, the England team Director, said Flintoff's absence would be a blow to the team but believe the hosts need not worry as they have enough options.

"He's a world-class performer and if he is out of the side of course that is a blow. But we have a few fast bowlers in the wings who we know can be very successful in international cricket.

"Of course we want Flintoff in the side but we'll see if his body is up to it. If not there are other guys who can do a job for us," Flower said.

Both Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen will have to see medical specialists this week before the England selectors decide if they are fit to play in the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston, which starts on July 30.

"Fred obviously had a tough physical game but he was very bullish about being ready for the third Test. Obviously with his injury record we've got to be a little bit careful with the wear and tear on his body. We 've employed the best men around to give us that advice," Flower told the Times.

Flower asserted he was comfortable in telling Flintoff about his exclusion from the team if he fails to make the team on injury grounds.

"I don't think those sort of decisions take strength. If those guys are fit enough to get through and contribute to winning Test matches then they'll be selected. If they are not then it is not a tough decision to make. You simply don't select them," he said.

The former Zimbabwe player also said that people must not believe that England have already regained Ashes as the hosts were wary of Australian backlash.

"We're going to have to play good cricket. Remember, we re playing the No 1 side in the world. I'm sure they will regroup and come back at us. We've also got to regroup. "Sometimes you can get distracted as much by winning as you do by losing. We have to regroup this following week and hit them hard the first day at Edgbaston," he said.