Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Spirit of Team Will Inspire England

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Spirit of Team Will Inspire England

Article excerpt

Byline: By David Clough

Andrew Flintoff prizes England's winning spirit under Michael Vaughan ahead of all the riches of individual talent at the captain's disposal as the tourists prepare to take on Pakistan in a three-Test series.

Flintoff ( who along with his fellow ICC Super Series participant, Durham paceman Steve Harmison, joined up with the rest of England's Ashes heroes in Lahore yesterday ( proved himself one of a clutch of players capable of turning the course of any Test match on his own last summer, in his case with either bat or ball.

But England's premier all-rounder sees the enduring togetherness in the England side as the quality to serve them best in what are likely to be trying circumstances over the next seven weeks.

He is in no doubt either that Vaughan deserves much of the credit for a team who are so happy in each others' company and eager to do well together.

"The spirit is something which has come together over the past two and a half years or so, since Michael has taken over. Just arriving here this morning I can already see it is pretty much where it was when I was last with the team. The new lads seem to have fitted in well."

The embattled nature of a tour of Pakistan, especially in a political climate which means security is a significant issue, is unlikely to adversely affect England's most important asset either ( according to Flintoff.

"In some ways a trip like this enhances the spirit, because you spend all your time together in each others' pockets," he said. "You come closer as a side, if that is possible from where we were when the Ashes finished.

"We have come so far as a side and we want to keep improving."

For that to happen England must do their homework on how best to channel their talents in an alien climate and on unfamiliar pitches.

Flintoff, for one, has been giving this plenty of thought, as well as receiving some expert input from his former Lancashire team-mate and great Pakistani pace-bowling all-rounder Wasim Akram. …

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