Captaincy not a burden for big Freddie
He doesn't find it a burden but will be happy to hand the reins back to Vaughan.Updated: Mar 06, 2006 17:55 IST
England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff says he did not find captaincy a burden but will be happy to hand the reins back to Michael Vaughan.
"I am just keeping Michael's job warm until he comes back. I have enjoyed captaining the side but Michael is our captain and I am looking forward to him captaining again," Flintoff was quoted as saying in The Guardian on Monday.
Vaughan, back in Sheffield where medical staff are mulling over the best way to treat a knee complaint that puts at risk his long-term future, kept in touch with Flintoff by text message, congratulating him for drawing such a committed performance in adversity from one of the youngest sides England have fielded in 40 years.
Flintoff, on his part, said he was proud of the way his players responded to the challenge.
"I'm proud of the lads. Coming into this Test match there were a few things that went against us. People said that we had no chance but the lads fought and they scrapped."
He made light of fears the captaincy might prove too burdensome, as it did for another great England all-rounder, Ian Botham, a generation ago.
"When I've not been captain I'm always involved in the game and thinking about the game. I never switch off. I wasn't going into it worrying about how much it was going to take out of me. I have enjoyed doing it. At no point did I feel that it was too much," he said.
"I was just telling him how well he played," Flintoff said. "He played some great shots."
Writing in the Daily Telegraph under his by-line, Alastair Cook, who scored a century on his debut, said, the mood in the camp was very upbeat yesterday and that had it been "a boxing match, we would have won on points."
"I'll never forget that moment on Saturday when the ball crossed the boundary rope to bring up my century," he wrote.
"That hundred was the realisation of all those dreams you have as a young lad making your first strides in the game. And there were several fairytale moments in this match: both Paul Collingwood's hndred and Monty Panesar's dismissal of Sachin Tendulkar had that same quality of a dream come true.
"We had a tough last hour in the field yesterday, but after the game the mood in the camp was extremely positive. As Freddie Flintoff said, this is a very young England side.
"Even apart from the three debutants, people such as Pietersen and Ian Bell haven't played that much Test cricket. No one had given us much chance against India on their home pitch, but if this was a boxing match, we would have won on points," he added.
First Published: Mar 06, 2006 17:55 IST