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Dec 15, 2019-Sunday



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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Flintoff wants to make up South African misery

Andrew Flintoff is determined to help England regain their pride tomorrow's final Test against South Africa at The Oval.

cricket Updated: Aug 06, 2008 20:24 IST


Andrew Flintoff is determined to help England regain their pride in Thursday's final Test against South Africa at The Oval.

Flintoff has been unable to stop England surrendering the series since he returned from injury and the all-rounder knows he needs to raise his game quickly.

"Two defeats is not the way I envisaged coming back with England. I didn't wait 18 months to get beaten," he said.

"It wasn't ideal but in a perverse way the first one at Headingley I enjoyed in the sense of being back around the lads, playing in front of a big crowd and playing for England.

"I just wish the outcome had been slightly different because for six months I've had to work so hard to get back in the side. I am enjoying being there.

"I've had a start, I've bowled some overs and I've batted okay - but now I need to start performing properly.

"Before this ankle operation, I thought if I didn't think I could recapture the form of previously I wouldn't have put myself up for all of this.

"I feel I can do that. I feel I am getting there. But I can rattle on as much as I can about it. I've got to start doing it out on the field."

England are 2-0 down in the series with just the one game left to play but Flintoff insists the game is still important as Kevin Pietersen's reign as captain gets underway.

"People go on about the Ashes next year. We've got Thursday to concentrate on. We've got beaten twice by South Africa and we've got to pull it around a bit," he said.

"It is not a dead rubber. Maybe it is in the context of the series, but we are playing for England and we are certainly playing for pride. A trophy or a cheque does not measure it. There is a lot for us to play for as cricketers.

"For a start, we've got to score more runs in the first innings of a Test match than we have in the last two to give ourselves a decent chance.

"As a group of players we've got to perform. We've got to put some pressure on South Africa."