Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath has launched into the Ashes mind games, querying whether it will be possible for Andrew Flintoff to bat and bowl well while captaining England.
McGrath, who has a history of niggling opposing sides before a Test series, made the remarks less than two months before the opening Gabba Test in Brisbane on November 23.
"It's a massive ask, there's no doubt about it," McGrath told The Sydney Morning Herald.
"He's (Flintoff) such a key player, not only with their bowling, but in the field and in the batting. So if you throw the captaincy on top of it, maybe it will take the focus off his bowling and batting a little bit more and onto the captaincy and have an effect on his game.
"But he's a class player, and if anyone can handle it, he can."
McGrath, Test cricket's leading wicket-taking fast bowler with 542 wickets in 119 matches, said the England captaincy will drain Flintoff. "It makes you think a lot more about the game," he said.
"Instead of Flintoff just focusing on his batting or his bowling and putting all his efforts and energies into that, now he has to think about who's going to bowl next, what field placements to use, where the game is going and so on.