England captain Andrew Strauss has said that his match-winning bowler Andrew Flintoff will be used sparingly in the remainder of the Ashes series.
Flintoff battled a serious knee injury to pick up five wickets in the second innings of the Lord’s Test that England won by 115 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
A week’s rest before the third Test, starting on Thursday at Edgbaston, might have helped Flintoff to ease the pain of right-knee cartilage injury, but with only four days separating the third Test and the fourth at Headingley, managing Flintoff through the rest of the series will be a tricky problem for Strauss.
“If we get to a winning situation and he is the right bowler to take us to victory we will be expecting to see him put in a similar amount of effort (to Lord’s). All the indications are that he will be fine. He is in constant contact with our medical team and when you have had as many injuries as he has had, you get a pretty good indication of how you are feeling.
“As a captain I will be juggling the bowling attack depending on the match situation. But we don’t want Fred bowling millions of overs when conditions aren’t in his favour. It is important to look after him. A lot depends on how much bowling he does this Test match. But as he said, he is very keen to play in the remaining three Test matches. I think he’ll be doing everything he can to make sure he’s available for those,” Strauss was quoted as saying by The Times.
Both Flintoff and Pietersen, who has also been ruled out of the series, aggravated their injuries while playing in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL). Strauss feels that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will soon have to redress the question of balancing the needs of the national team against players’ desire to maximise their earnings.
“It is a difficult decision for the ECB to make. You can’t stop players playing on the basis they might get injured. If they are fit to play then there is a case for them going, but at the same time we have to manage workloads because there is a lot of cricket for them to play. It is a big debate to have and both myself and the ECB are going to be involved in that,” Strauss added.