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Andrew Flintoff has had amazing success against Australia's left-handed batsmen in this series
September 7, 2005
A big reason for England's success in the Ashes series so far has been Adam Gilchrist's failure, and the bowler most responsible for that has been Andrew Flintoff, who has dismissed him four times conceding 77 runs - that's 19.25 runs per dismissal. England have also been spot-on with their strategy, ensuring that Flintoff has the ball in hand as soon as Gilchrist comes out to bat: out of the 232 balls he has faced so far, 114 have been bowled by Flintoff - that's a whopping 49%.
Flintoff has found outstanding success against some of the other Australian top-order batsmen as well - Matthew Hayden averages 13 against him (39 runs, three dismissals), Justin Langer 16.50 (33 runs, two dismissals), and Simon Katich 21 (63 runs, three dismissals). Interestingly, he hasn't had as much success against the right-handers - Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke have both scored 50 off him, and while Ponting has been dismissed once, Clarke hasn't yet fallen to Flintoff in this series.
A couple of Australian bowlers have found bunnies in the England team as well - Shane Warne and Brett Lee have dismissed Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen four times too, at a similar average.
Australia have been sloppy in the field, but they've only dropped 14 catches to England's 24 in the first four Tests. The biggest culprit has been Geraint Jones, who has missed five catches and three stumpings, while Pietersen has dropped six chances. For Australia, Gilchrist has been the offender-in-chief, with four misses - three catches and a stumping.
Not only have England's fast bowlers nailed the Aussie wickets, they've also hit them on the body 37 times, with Steve Harmison (18) and Flintoff (14) leading the way. Australia's bowlers have returned the compliment only 13 times, ten of them courtesy of Brett Lee. The batsman who has suffered the most is Justin Langer, with eight blows to the body.