October 8, 2006

Ashes

Australia's Flintoff?

Andrew McGlashan

One allrounder has so far dominated the build-up to the Ashes with the regular medical updates on Andrew Flintoff's ankle and the effect of handing him the England captaincy. It is the one area where England are, without doubt, currently ahead of Australia - a matchwinning allrounder. However, that has just made the Aussies more keen to find one of their own. In terms of sheer power with the bat Andrew Symonds is the closest match, but the man earmarked for the No. 6 role is Shane Watson, the Queensland allrounder who has just enjoyed an impressive tournament in Kuala Lumpur. Will Buckley, in The Observer, profiles the cricketer whose stats are currently the wrong way round, but may not stay that way for long.

The thinking behind picking Watson (Test batting average 20.25, bowling average 61.50) would be in the hope of giving the Australia team the balance that Andrew Flintoff provides for England. For two decades the English have striven to emulate the Australians; now the position may be about to be reversed.

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Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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