?It is going to be a tricky series?
Andrew Flintoff said it would be tough to perform with both bat and ball in India.india Updated: Feb 22, 2006 18:33 IST
Andrew Flintoff says being an all-rounder in modern cricket is not easy, and that it would be even tougher to perform with both, bat and ball in subcontinental conditions.
Nevertheless, he loves the challenge of excelling in whatever he does and hopes to replicate his Ashes heroics on Indian soil in the next few weeks.
“Sometimes it is tough, you bowl a lot and then you pad up at number six but I think I enjoy doing that, to be honest. If I don’t do that I would be bored on the field,” says the 28-year-old.
The Lanchashire player was the star performer for England, which regained the Ashes from Australia last summer.
Flintoff says the visitors, slated to play three Tests and seven ODIs from March 1 to April 15, would have to show character to consolidate their status as challengers to the Test crown, particularly after the loss to Pakistan late last year.
“Yes, we have had a good run with the exception of Pakistan. It (India) is a tough place. It is a massive challenge, not just for myself but also for the group of individuals. We have got to prove ourselves here. It is going to be a tricky series in these conditions.”
Flintoff believes he has come of age since his last visit to India in 2002. “I have got a better knowledge of my game. I have got a basic technique and method of playing, which I trust. I am slightly more patient, and my shot selection is better than it used to be, I feel I approach an innings or even practice a lot better.”
Before that tour, he was criticised for his slack attitude to the game. Touted as successor to Ian Botham when he made his debut, Flintoff was labelled as over-weight and ridiculed for his eating habits.
But the wheel has come full circle and he is now considered among the leading all-rounders of the game.
Flintoff attributes the transformation to his marriage.
“Your focus changes. I am still enjoying my cricket, but you play for your family and play to provide as well. You put things in context. Good days and bad days (on the field), when you come through the door, your family treats you the same. You realise cricket is just a game, there are far more important things in life, I certainly found so. I am enjoying being a family man, enjoying the responsibility.”