Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flintoff to Stay on as Captain

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flintoff to Stay on as Captain

Article excerpt

Fletcher hints at concerns

Andrew Flintoff will captain England throughout the remainder of the tour of India ( although coach Duncan Fletcher concedes the extra responsibility may be too much in the longer term.

Flintoff, 28, impressed leading a revamped England side in the drawn first Test at Nagpur, after Michael Vaughan succumbed to a knee injury on the eve of the contest.

With neither Vaughan nor Marcus Trescothick, absent indefinitely for personal reasons, likely to return to the nine-week tour it is a role he will keep for the one-day series.

However, Fletcher yesterday hinted fears the burden of captaincy could effect the outstanding form of Flintoff, a man who bats in the top six and is a key member of the bowling attack.

"At the moment it is a lot to do," said Fletcher. "Just as an all-rounder he had a lot to do.

"Adding the captaincy could be ( you never know with the individual ( what he needs to step his game up to another level. We will only find that out later on. There is a chance we might be asking a lot of him."

Last week's chain of events pushed Flintoff to the front of the queue of contenders.

"Fred, at this stage, will captain for the rest of the tour," said Fletcher. "He captained well.

"Considering the circumstances it wasn't an easy game, being thrown in he had to grab hold of the reins straight away, which he did.

"You can see immediately he is a guy who wants to lead from the front."

On the day Simon Jones was officially ruled out of the remainder of the Test series ( and in all likelihood the tour ( Fletcher doubted that Trescothick, Vaughan's deputy, would return to the sub-continent.

"There is a very good chance he will not play in this Test series and probably a good chance he will not play in the one-dayers either," Fletcher said, having communicated with Trescothick in the past few days. …

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