Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flintoff's All-Clear Gives Vaughan Workload Worry

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flintoff's All-Clear Gives Vaughan Workload Worry

Article excerpt

Byline: By Richard Gibson

England will have Andrew Flintoff operating at full capacity as they seek to regain the lead in the Test series at Johannesburg today ( and could bring in swing bowler James Anderson to freshen up the attack.

Flintoff came through a light fitness check on his side strain in practice yesterday, sending down around 20 deliveries at three-quarter pace, in his first bowl since incurring the injury during the 196-run defeat to South Africa in Cape Town last week.

That news was welcomed by captain Michael Vaughan, who believes the 27-year-old's influence is vital to the tourists' chances of a first series win in South Africa since the 1960s.

On the flip side of the coin, however, there are concerns that the Lancastrian's workload is taking its toll with the eagerly-anticipated Ashes battle just six months away ( and that anything more serious than a small muscle tear might hamper his first go at the Australians in the Test arena.

With just three days between this match and the final Test of the series, there is a heavy schedule ahead, but Vaughan says he will not treat his side's leading wicket-taker in the series any differently.

"We will see how he bowls," Vaughan said. "In Cape Town I thought he was our best bowler and in Durban probably our second best.

"As captain you just have to judge who is bowling well on that given day and also on that given surface.

"It is always a case of not wanting to drag him into the ground but there are periods of play where you have to bowl your best bowlers if you are going to win games of cricket.

"Over the last year or so Freddie has been ( along with Steve Harmison ( consistently our best bowler.

"People ask whether I have bowled Freddie too much but he's a real big threat when he's bowling and he always has their batsmen under pressure. …

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