Flintoff's absence good for us: Dravid

Andrew Flintoff, who is recuperating after an ankle surgery, is doubtful to play in the upcoming Test series against India.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Hove
UPDATED ON JUL 09, 2007 06:11 PM IST

Captain Rahul Dravid says India has a good chance of India doing well in the upcoming Test series against England as the hosts were most likely to miss the services of their star all rounder Andrew Flintoff.

Flintoff, who underwent an ankle surgery, was still recuperating and is doubtful to play any part in the three-match series beginning at Lord's on July 19.

"Fast-bowling all-rounders are like gold and England have a problem replacing him. His absence makes things far more equal this time," Dravid was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Flintoff has picked 22 wickets in nine Tests against India and, as captain, took 3-14 as England won the final Test in Mumbai to level the series in 2005-6.

"When England came to India last time he was brilliant. He led really well and he was outstanding with bat and ball."

Things have not gone so well for Flintoff since that tour losing the Ashes 5-0 as captain and then being stripped of the vice-captaincy at the World Cup after some late night adventures in the Caribbean.

The 29-year-old player is working hard with long-term physio and mentor Dave Roberts to recuperate and might feature in the seven-match one-day series beginning at The Rose Bowl on August 21.

Dravid also said England were strengthened by the selection of Sussex wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior, who has scored a century and two 50s in his first six Test innings.

"Prior lends a lot of balance, but we've got to play the whole team. England are ranked second behind Australia so obviously they have a good set-up and I followed their series against West Indies closely," he said.

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