Is Lazarus Freddie targeting an Ashes comeback?
According to the famously balanced Daily Mail in the UK, Freddie is contemplating a comeback to Test cricket in time for the Ashes Down Under next winter.
Apparently he is missing playing at the highest level and in taking the first step to what would be an amazing comeback has signalled his intentions to play four day cricket for Lancashire in the summer.
Many thought his run out of Ricky Ponting at The Oval coupled with his five wicket haul at Lord’s were fitting epitaphs to a mercurial test career.
If true, this raises awkward questions for Andrew Strauss, Andy Flower and Geoff Miller.
There have been heavy hints from the England camp that Freddie’s presence is not particularly missed and Miller has even questioned whether he would ‘fit in’ to plans for the one day team.
So if Freddie proves his fitness in the summer and produces anything like the form he is capable of, it is likely that the press will create an unstoppable bandwagon aimed at restoring Flintoff to the side in time for the 1st test in Brisbane next November.
England could clearly do with an in-form and fully fit Flintoff bowling at 90mph and scoring useful runs at six or seven.
Stuart Broad showed in South Africa that he is light years away from being a genuine test all-rounder – I doubt he will ever be one and he should be left to concentrate on his bowling and making useful contributions at eight or nine. Swanny too should be left alone to focus on his bowling, which has been a revelation since his elevation to the test side.
Adil Rashid is clearly out of favour and not ready in any case. Luke Wright is not good enough with bat or ball.
So that leaves Freddie. If he really does want to make a comeback and he proves his form and fitness he may yet have an opportunity to make up for the debacle of the 2006/07 series.
I reckon Strauss, Flower and Miller will be even more unhappy than the Australians about this prospect.
Should be interesting.
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