July 4, 2010

Ponting's Ashes kryptonite

It might seem a wild suggestion, but just like Jardine used Larwood against Bradman, Strauss could consider bringing back Flintoff for a couple of Ashes Tests
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Playing in a period that has often been dominated by batsmen, Ricky Ponting is comfortably among the three best willow-wielders of his time.

In the early part of his career, when good fast bowlers were still reasonably prolific, he was overshadowed by the glittering deeds of Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar. However, Ponting was able to reel in this mighty pair by becoming such a dominant No. 3 batsman that he was able to dictate terms to almost any attack. Then when Lara retired and Tendulkar's powers waned, Ponting moved to the head of the batting class, and although there are signs age is now catching up with him and the Indian maestro has gathered a second wind, Ponting is still the most influential batsman in the Australian side.

Never has this been more evident than during the five-game ODI series against England. Ponting is no Sir Donald Bradman, but then again nobody else has got within a decent career average of the player who virtually averaged a hundred in Tests.

And neither is Andrew Strauss another Douglas Jardine; he bats left-handed, and rather than baiting Australians, he married one.

However, there are parallels with what's happening between this pair and the machinations of the infamous Bodyline series. With his desire to beat Australia aroused, Jardine decided that if you decreased Bradman's influence on the contest, it dramatically increased England's chances of winning. He virtually halved Bradman's average in 1932-33, with the help of Harold Larwood's well-directed missiles, and hey presto, Ashes reclaimed.

Strauss is a shrewd captain and he's figured out that if you keep Ponting relatively quiet, the rest of the Australian batting line-up is easier to subdue. In the first three ODIs, the England bowlers got the better of Ponting and poof, just like magic, a series victory was claimed.

However, in game four Ponting finally broke the shackles and Australia returned to the winner's circle via their favoured route: by posting a big total and then pouncing as a demanding chase proves too much for a side trying to combat a solid bowling attack backed by athletic fielding.

England currently have a versatile attack but the one thing they lack is a man with the speed, accuracy and aura to shake up good batsmen on bouncy Australian pitches. The one England bowler with those credentials is Flintoff

It's a formula that has often worked for Australia but it's most successful when Ponting has a long stay at the crease to oversee proceedings. There's no doubt Michael Clarke is a class player but he can't dictate terms like Ponting. And Shane Watson can hammer the faster bowlers but too often his dominance is snuffed out shortly after he gets to 50. Strauss will be aware that dealing with Ponting is like a night at the casino: sometimes you're lucky and others you're not.

However, the evidence is irrefutable. In the two Tests England won to claim the 2009 Ashes series, England kept Ponting quiet, particularly in the first innings, and Australia were never able to dominate when batting. If Strauss wants to reach the dizzy heights, he could learn another lesson from Jardine.

Jardine was quick to realise that you need good fast bowling to win in Australia. Jardine not only provided Larwood with a blueprint for unsettling Bradman, he also made sure he had plenty of fast bowling back-up. England currently have a versatile attack but the one thing they lack is a man with the speed, accuracy and aura to shake up good batsmen on bouncy Australian pitches.

The one England bowler with those credentials is Andrew Flintoff. Apparently Flintoff is amenable to returning for one last Ashes series. Just like Jardine courted Larwood with plans to bounce Bradman before the 1932-33 series, Strauss would be wise to advise Flintoff that if he's fit, he'd like him in the touring party, even if it's just for two or three specific Tests.

England already has one small piece of kryptonite to weaken Ponting: throughout his career he's had problems with good offspinners and Graeme Swann is currently the best in the game. However, Swann and every other England bowler will present a stronger challenge to Ponting's authority if a fit Flintoff is lurking in the shadows. Some might say it's a panic move, others would complain on the score of disrupting team unity. Then there are those who might deem the move a practical one in an attempt to win a series in Australia, and never has there been a more pragmatic cricket captain than Douglas Jardine.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator and columnist

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY sachin1bradman2 on | July 7, 2010, 11:22 GMT

    Chappell is a class act, as far as strategizing is concerned. Though I think Flintoff had a graceful (if not ideal ) departure in the last Ashes, so it's probably not such a splendid idea to bring him back. Look forward England, Swann is an exceptional talent as a spinner, it shouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility to find a sharp paceman who can take on the Aussies. Flintoff, Simon Jones & Co could take it upon themselves to pass on their seeds of wisdom (reverse swing et al) to the next breed of English fastmen. Also, countries like England and India would do well to emulate the rotational policies of CA, which have a built in mechanism to eliminate player selfishness, overconfidence, complacency etc

  • POSTED BY Puppster23 on | July 7, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    I'm an Oz fan, but keeping my bias aside, I still think England have very less a chance to beat Aus down under. The English bowling or batting won't have a great time on hard Aussie tracks, and if its Swann that England are backing upon, then good luck to them, coz we all know how receptive Aussie tracks are to spin bowling.....

  • POSTED BY insightfulcricketer on | July 5, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    Stauss need not bother. Swann will be the game changer in the next Ashes. With his big hearted tossed up off spin on Australian wickets he will be quite a handful esp on 3rd day wicket on-wards. If he develops a top-spinning straigher one he will be able to run through most Aussie batsman other than Clarke maybe. Main thing Strauss has to ensure when the team reaches Oz land is that Swann gets most practise in the side games so he know what length to drop his off spin in Aussie wickets and the batsman need to fire big time. The only way to beat Australians is to consistently score over 400+ (easier said than done). Aussies are born fighters more so in their backyard - two very good team makes will make the Ashes series a compelling viewing even for neutrals - especially the tests.

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | July 5, 2010, 10:25 GMT

    This is the best article by miles regarding the forthcoming ashes tour. Never before has any australian team ever relied on 1 player and ian has got it 100% right. With a realistic chance of loosing ashes in autralia ricky will be doubly dengorous. Age might be catching up with him but you can always relay on class players to rise to the occasion. I am sure strauss is not going to loose sleep over katcih, clarke and watson. Punter is the one who will have to carry aussie batting. Coming to his latest weakness of geting out while pulling the ball no one is more efficient and expereinced in england then fit flintoff. With swann lurking in his shadows ponting will surely have tough time. Ian chappel has given a key to englishmen of ashes success. A ordinary series for punter will tip the odds in english favor and vice versa. Aussiie bowling attack if all options are avaialable including tait will be definately reliable and will deliver the goods if 400+ runs are scored.

  • POSTED BY axdvg on | July 5, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    Might as well bring back Beefy, Warne, McGrath yada yada yada... get over it Freddi is not playing test cricket because he can't last 5 days. Otherwise why in the right mind will he not have played?

  • POSTED BY vineetphysics2006 on | July 5, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    my advice to Ian is just keep watching at the mirror.........it will definitely say something.....no need for flintoff.......just advice for swann is to watch video of harbhajan bowling to ponting and if possible take his help to undo ponting ........it will be of immense help.......sorry ponting no tendulkar catch up task now

  • POSTED BY Foxtrot210789 on | July 5, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    Isn't it stating the obvious that when big name players in their respective teams.. whether it be Flintoff, Ponting, Kobe Bryant in the NBA or a local clubs captain best/player performs well it lifts a team. Playing multiple sports through my life, and playing with some guys who were amazing (for the level) it does lift a team when they lift.. but at the same time, when they slump, they can bring them down.. a test of a good team is for when the best players slump, others step up..

  • POSTED BY KAPIL_DEAR_IN on | July 5, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    I THINK CHAPPELL IS A WONDERFUL READER OF MINDS AND HIS INSTINCTS AS A CAPTAIN HAVE LEAD HIM TO WRITE THIS ARTICLE.THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HE WOULD HAVE HAVE TRIED HAD HE BEEN IN PLACE OF ANDREW STRAUSS.I THINK CRICKET AT THIS DESPERATE TIMES NEDDS CHARACTERS LIKE IAN CHAPPLELL WHO CAN INSPIRE COMPETITION AMONG PLAYERS TO PLAY ATTACKING CRICKET.ESPECIALLY CAPTAINS THESE DAYS GO ON THE BACKFOOT AS SOON AS A PLAYER REACHES 25 RUNS.I THINK IN LAST 5 YEARS TEAMS HAVE LOST TO AUSTRALIA BACAUSE OF BAD CAPTAINCY MORE THAN BECAUSE OF LACK OF SKILLS TO MATCH THERE OPPONENT.AUSTRALIA ARE AT ITS MOST VUNERABLE AT THE MOMENT.SO IS THERE CAPTAIN AS A BATSMEN.SO WHY NOT ATTACK HIM WITH A GENUINE FAST BOWLER AND SEE WHAT STUFF HE IS MADE OF.ONE THING IS GUARNTEED - EXCITING CRICKET.WHICH IS ALL WHAT WE WANT.

  • POSTED BY Something_Witty on | July 4, 2010, 23:33 GMT

    C'mon Chappeli. Stop building the pommies up, you're way too polite about them. It's England v Australia in AUSTRALIA. They're not going to lose 5-0, but England will have to be incredibly lucky to actually win a game.

  • POSTED BY Bilal_Choudry on | July 4, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    last summer both WI and Pakistan played the short bowling tactic and more often than not they succeeded against Ponting ... having said that I think its time they try someone new like Finn

  • POSTED BY sachin1bradman2 on | July 7, 2010, 11:22 GMT

    Chappell is a class act, as far as strategizing is concerned. Though I think Flintoff had a graceful (if not ideal ) departure in the last Ashes, so it's probably not such a splendid idea to bring him back. Look forward England, Swann is an exceptional talent as a spinner, it shouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility to find a sharp paceman who can take on the Aussies. Flintoff, Simon Jones & Co could take it upon themselves to pass on their seeds of wisdom (reverse swing et al) to the next breed of English fastmen. Also, countries like England and India would do well to emulate the rotational policies of CA, which have a built in mechanism to eliminate player selfishness, overconfidence, complacency etc

  • POSTED BY Puppster23 on | July 7, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    I'm an Oz fan, but keeping my bias aside, I still think England have very less a chance to beat Aus down under. The English bowling or batting won't have a great time on hard Aussie tracks, and if its Swann that England are backing upon, then good luck to them, coz we all know how receptive Aussie tracks are to spin bowling.....

  • POSTED BY insightfulcricketer on | July 5, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    Stauss need not bother. Swann will be the game changer in the next Ashes. With his big hearted tossed up off spin on Australian wickets he will be quite a handful esp on 3rd day wicket on-wards. If he develops a top-spinning straigher one he will be able to run through most Aussie batsman other than Clarke maybe. Main thing Strauss has to ensure when the team reaches Oz land is that Swann gets most practise in the side games so he know what length to drop his off spin in Aussie wickets and the batsman need to fire big time. The only way to beat Australians is to consistently score over 400+ (easier said than done). Aussies are born fighters more so in their backyard - two very good team makes will make the Ashes series a compelling viewing even for neutrals - especially the tests.

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | July 5, 2010, 10:25 GMT

    This is the best article by miles regarding the forthcoming ashes tour. Never before has any australian team ever relied on 1 player and ian has got it 100% right. With a realistic chance of loosing ashes in autralia ricky will be doubly dengorous. Age might be catching up with him but you can always relay on class players to rise to the occasion. I am sure strauss is not going to loose sleep over katcih, clarke and watson. Punter is the one who will have to carry aussie batting. Coming to his latest weakness of geting out while pulling the ball no one is more efficient and expereinced in england then fit flintoff. With swann lurking in his shadows ponting will surely have tough time. Ian chappel has given a key to englishmen of ashes success. A ordinary series for punter will tip the odds in english favor and vice versa. Aussiie bowling attack if all options are avaialable including tait will be definately reliable and will deliver the goods if 400+ runs are scored.

  • POSTED BY axdvg on | July 5, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    Might as well bring back Beefy, Warne, McGrath yada yada yada... get over it Freddi is not playing test cricket because he can't last 5 days. Otherwise why in the right mind will he not have played?

  • POSTED BY vineetphysics2006 on | July 5, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    my advice to Ian is just keep watching at the mirror.........it will definitely say something.....no need for flintoff.......just advice for swann is to watch video of harbhajan bowling to ponting and if possible take his help to undo ponting ........it will be of immense help.......sorry ponting no tendulkar catch up task now

  • POSTED BY Foxtrot210789 on | July 5, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    Isn't it stating the obvious that when big name players in their respective teams.. whether it be Flintoff, Ponting, Kobe Bryant in the NBA or a local clubs captain best/player performs well it lifts a team. Playing multiple sports through my life, and playing with some guys who were amazing (for the level) it does lift a team when they lift.. but at the same time, when they slump, they can bring them down.. a test of a good team is for when the best players slump, others step up..

  • POSTED BY KAPIL_DEAR_IN on | July 5, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    I THINK CHAPPELL IS A WONDERFUL READER OF MINDS AND HIS INSTINCTS AS A CAPTAIN HAVE LEAD HIM TO WRITE THIS ARTICLE.THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HE WOULD HAVE HAVE TRIED HAD HE BEEN IN PLACE OF ANDREW STRAUSS.I THINK CRICKET AT THIS DESPERATE TIMES NEDDS CHARACTERS LIKE IAN CHAPPLELL WHO CAN INSPIRE COMPETITION AMONG PLAYERS TO PLAY ATTACKING CRICKET.ESPECIALLY CAPTAINS THESE DAYS GO ON THE BACKFOOT AS SOON AS A PLAYER REACHES 25 RUNS.I THINK IN LAST 5 YEARS TEAMS HAVE LOST TO AUSTRALIA BACAUSE OF BAD CAPTAINCY MORE THAN BECAUSE OF LACK OF SKILLS TO MATCH THERE OPPONENT.AUSTRALIA ARE AT ITS MOST VUNERABLE AT THE MOMENT.SO IS THERE CAPTAIN AS A BATSMEN.SO WHY NOT ATTACK HIM WITH A GENUINE FAST BOWLER AND SEE WHAT STUFF HE IS MADE OF.ONE THING IS GUARNTEED - EXCITING CRICKET.WHICH IS ALL WHAT WE WANT.

  • POSTED BY Something_Witty on | July 4, 2010, 23:33 GMT

    C'mon Chappeli. Stop building the pommies up, you're way too polite about them. It's England v Australia in AUSTRALIA. They're not going to lose 5-0, but England will have to be incredibly lucky to actually win a game.

  • POSTED BY Bilal_Choudry on | July 4, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    last summer both WI and Pakistan played the short bowling tactic and more often than not they succeeded against Ponting ... having said that I think its time they try someone new like Finn

  • POSTED BY Jarr30 on | July 4, 2010, 22:11 GMT

    There is a rumour going around that CA is desperately planning to include John Howard in the playing eleven for the ASHES since ouster from the ICC post.

  • POSTED BY rickets77 on | July 4, 2010, 18:39 GMT

    This smacks of desperation from Chappell ahead of a series the Oz should win fairly comfortably. Fred is indeed dead in terms of international cricket. England are going to have to spend a few years finding the right blend now we've lost a true world-class allrounder, but he blonde idiot from sussex isn't a good start. He struggles to hold the bat the right way! But bringing Fred back would undermine all the incredible work that the entire English team has done since the loss of Freddie to prove we neither need him or Pietersen to win a contest. Finn will star!!!

  • POSTED BY DADA_IS_THE_BEST on | July 4, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    Mr Chappell must be kidding me! Ponting is no Superman and Flintoff is no what ever parallel he is drawing up.....I can only laugh at Chappell's articles these days...and Mr Chappell...its not Tendulkar's Batting that has waned....you prowess to appreciate batting talent and make sensible comments as diminished as a lamp in a storm...Nevertheless I am looking for something better from you similar to your 'Bradmanensque' article or shewag...oh my! Bad example!

  • POSTED BY andrew101notout on | July 4, 2010, 17:07 GMT

    Flintoff's bowling could trouble the Australians, but, it's not worth the risk.Tait, Lee and Shaoib have all gotten nasty injuries, so it would be nice as a neutral to see Flintoff play it's highly unlikely.I would, however, say that he can't be selected just because he's Freddie Flintoff, if he gets picked it must on merit i.e. how he plays for Lancashire if and when he returns.

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | July 4, 2010, 16:42 GMT

    @gizmo.mp3. If Shane Warne was brought back as bowler and captain for the last Ashes in England, Australia would not have lost the series, despite Flintoff's heroics. Dominant personalities always make a difference in key series over opponents whom they are known to trouble or vanquish. Right now it seems hypothetical, but if he can last a ten over spell and take a wicket or two in the top order,Ii feel the job is done. Finn and Broad will do the rest, as will Swann. And not to forget, a 70 from Flintoff batting can turn the match on its head, in the manner in which a century from Ponting can never do.

  • POSTED BY knowledge_eater on | July 4, 2010, 16:28 GMT

    I have been barking all along, Aus. will win on shoulder of Ponting's performance only, it doesn't have to be match winning, but it makes HUGE difference if Captain plays well. Flintoff have bended his back more than any all-rounder I have seen in my life time. I tried imitating his style but it doesn't work with red cherry. lol I just don't have enough height. I don't want Ponting to get back to his best, just because I am fearsome competitive supporter, and I am still not getting over Ponting's 140 runs in 2003 final. Targeting Ponting only might just do for England, but personally I won't forget Dark Horse Pup Clarke. Aus.'s bowling line up is close to best, Eng. have improved their batting immensely. Aus is batting vulnerable side, Eng. is bowling vulnerable side. Its perfect. England will miss Freddy if Ponting is to bat well. Period. But watch out for the Funny Chap Swanny. And yes, Ponting is no superman, his eye sight is not young anymore, in fielding he is still sharp though.

  • POSTED BY jperry on | July 4, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    Dear IAN: everytime you have recommended some changes prior to any big series, it has worked wonders !!! Remember the recall of Sehwag prior to India's tour of Australia. It was after your article that Sehwag was recalled. rest is the history !!

  • POSTED BY Clyde on | July 4, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    Ian is only required to write a good article and he has done that. As for who deals with Ponting, it will be anyone without a bad knee on the day, and this probably won't be anyone we see on the horizon at the moment.

  • POSTED BY SVXX on | July 4, 2010, 15:44 GMT

    Ridiculous article really. Sir, I believe you should try giving a context to other test rivalries, because the Ashes already has plenty of context. The English don't need Flintoff to nullify Ponting. Graeme Swann will rip right through him. A certain turbaned offspinner has done it time and again; why not Swann? Especially considering his rise through these years.

  • POSTED BY AB99 on | July 4, 2010, 15:32 GMT

    Mr Chappel - Is Swann better than Murali and Ajmal ? He may be on par with Harbhajan at the kindest. You have got it incorrect ... Why are Katich and Hussey forgotten ... it seems that the Austrailia medai does not like Hussey as he is a no frills dedicated cricketer who has taken the battle ahead more regularly than Ponting

  • POSTED BY Gopes_On_Dopes on | July 4, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    Cmon Ian, risking Flintoff for a test match leave alone an entire series that too just for Ponting? The English attack cant be THAT bad!!

  • POSTED BY Gizmo.mp3 on | July 4, 2010, 12:42 GMT

    Really? Ashes mind games starting already? Oh, give it a rest. Flintoff is history, he's never coming back. As a proud English fan, it's time to say "thanks for the memories, Freddie" and accept that he's ridden his pedalo off into the sunset.

    Chappell suggesting that he should come back because he will unsettle Ponting is fatuous. Should we English to suggest that you bring back Shane Warne to combat Craig Kieswetter and Ian Bell?

  • POSTED BY demon_bowler on | July 4, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    Given that Flintoff hasn't played a single game of cricket since last year's Oval Test, this is a bizarre suggestion, to say the least. At the moment a T20 game for Lancashire is about the height of Freddie's ambitions.

  • POSTED BY Umair_umair on | July 4, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    Its T20s and 50 Over ODIs, where Flintoff should make a return to international cricket first, not Test Matches and that too Ashes Test Matches.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | July 4, 2010, 12:28 GMT

    Chappelli, you are dreaming! Flintoff is finished.Flintoff was a failure in the Ashes 2006 -07 in Australia.And Ponting has very few weaknesses. Which great cricketer hasn't a weakness? You now, as well as I know, that Ponting couldn't have got 11,928 Test runs and 13,72 ODI runs,only by playing the fast bowlers.So to say he has a weakness against off-spin makes me laugh. And there are better offspinners than Graeme Swann - Ponting plays them all decently well.A batsman WILL get out sometime, right Ian? P.S. Ponting ALSO gets out to fast bowling. and yet ....11,928 Test runs,13,072 ODI runs? Don't make me laugh,Ian.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | July 4, 2010, 12:28 GMT

    Sounds a good idea if you want to push him around in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He spends half of hiis life or more in recovery as it is. Cricket is a great cause but not that great. I'd rather send Harmison via a hypnotherapist's couch-at least his body stands up to the work.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | July 4, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    Neither Flintoff nor Tait are fit enough for the 5-day game. After 4 overs of brutal, ultra-fast bowling by Tait in the last one-dayer there, he looked absolutely shattered! You can't compare one-dayers with test cricket. Ten overs of useful, fast bowling is one thing... but in tests it could turn out to be a liability if batsmen see off the limited number of overs these fast men can give, and then all you're left with is an average fielder. Stick with Finn, Anderson, hopefully Simon Jones will be fit too!

  • POSTED BY ianChappellFan on | July 4, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    i agree. great article, this is why successful ex-cricketers are much more interesting to me than professional cricket journalists. even in the last ashes freddie was far from fully fit, but his aura made the difference. but he should be used intelligently, since he wont last for a full series with a heavy workload.

  • POSTED BY CricFan78 on | July 4, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    Ian is just trying to windup English here

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | July 4, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    Ian Chappel has made perhaps the most sensible suggestion and England would be foolish not to pay heed to it.Flintoff's larger than life presence in the field is by itself a psychological boos for England and a dampener for Australia as the Ashes in England demonstrated. No Australian bat likes to face his bowling and if used sparingly, he can provide that X factor lacking in the England bowling. And of course his batting is a huge bonus. Flintoff for two Tests is a match winning option, that is pragmatic to consider, if winning in Australia is desired. The current team is stronger than the one which went last time, but the main weapon in Flintoff would be missing. Flintoff for a 2-0 lead is what the doctor would order. Thank you Ian ! That was perceptive.

  • POSTED BY dyogesh on | July 4, 2010, 9:40 GMT

    Bravo, Chappelli. This is the kind of article we expect from a ex-cricketer. Rather than discussing usual selectorial problems, he suggests a brave selection and backs it up with solid reason. Common thread is that Chappelli has always backed aggressive game-changers. Both Flintoff and Sehwag are. Flintoff though doesn't take a lot of wickets, is the man who can hustle up the opposition. Men who give the opposition sleepless nights.

  • POSTED BY __PK on | July 4, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Interesting selection tip from Majr, expecting the Australian attack to be spearheaded by two guys who've long since retired from first class cricket. Absolutely no way.

  • POSTED BY Fiona133 on | July 4, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    Bring back Flintoff? Flintoff the answer for England? Did Ian Chappell miss the 2006/7 ashes?

    I think Strauss will manage without him. Seeing fintoff as a 'talisman', or kryptonite if you prefer, has always done England more harm than good. Strauss and Flower have built a great team than is gaining strength and confidence, the last thing they need is yesterdays man disrupting that and distracting everyone.

  • POSTED BY gramedgar on | July 4, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    i sincerely hope shaun tait makes the ashes series as he is an exciting bowler and the aussies were dross last time out, but dont forget he nearly averages 29 in first class cricket, has no test record to speak of and is a 'sprayer' when he loses his mojo. i think this fight fire with fire talk is just hype and we have a perfectly good attack. frazer, gough, headley and to an extent hoggard are our better bowlers of recent times in australia and i wouldnt accuse any of them of being express pace. freddie to return? he has a lot to do fitness wise before its even worth discussing, injured players, including the man himself, have destabilised more than one tour of australia for england, also, we dont know how it would hit the dressing room. it would be like capello suddenly panicking and picking retired players for the world cup [the silly man] - what does it say to the rest of the team that has built up such momentum?

  • POSTED BY amitrathivamnicom on | July 4, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    hardly convincing.......flintoff is past his prime and larwood was just starting to made a mark in test arena..............and most importantly freddie wont b an easy guy to convince for this job.........hardly seeing it happenning mr.chappell

  • POSTED BY since7 on | July 4, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    Very surprised that ian has called for freddie's inclusion.Calling a dropped sehwag back is one thing but I am not sure whether freddie a fast bowler and a genuine allrounder can go through the pounding of 5 ashes tests in australia.He hasnt been effective in the australian pitches afterall.firstly,its more of a wish which one would like to come to reality rather than a possible one but even then the article only presents ian's lack of confidence in english pace attack which s a bit right too.swann sure will be the key but have the english team got enough firepower in their tank and the all elusive balance in their ranks.I dont think so but again,expected ian to be his practical self but he has slipped for a change

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | July 4, 2010, 7:04 GMT

    punter will be touring India before eng tour aus i think. So punter will have a stern test there,coz as history suggests,he's always been poor in India. But for a change,if he succeeds in India,it'll give boost to his waning career,then it'll be tough for eng to contain him in aus.

  • POSTED BY gujratwalla on | July 4, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    Chappell has got a point here.Last time England regained the Ashes they had three nasties in Harmison,Jones and Flintoff.It is a known fact that Aussies are jumpy against geniune pace bowlers.Chappel would remember the mauling John Snow gave his team in 1970-71.I wouldn't say Flintoff must come in but perhaps England have a fast bowler lurking in the county circuit who is still untried yet.

  • POSTED BY anurag23bhide on | July 4, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    England minus Flintoff is not even half the attack they are when he is in the XI. In a series as big as the Ashes, the English definitely need a man of personality to rile the Aussies and back it up with performances on-field and Flintoff's the best man for the job.

    What's more interesting is how Ponting uses Tait, if he decides to use him at all. He is a man best underbowled, to conserve his firepower and short sharp bursts of pace would be the best bet, the way he has been used in the ODIs. I think he will be most potent bowling short 3/4 over spells 5/6 times spread out over the day.

  • POSTED BY JAMIAWALA on | July 4, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    I think Anderson, Broad and Swann are excellent bowlers capable of winning the Ashes for England. They need another couple of good bowlers to back them up. Flintoff could be a good choice but I fiercely doubt whether he will be back to his best. He could be more of a 2nd change bowler, at best, I believe..

  • POSTED BY mumbaiguy79 on | July 4, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    bunch of bull fertilizer from Chappell..as if English selectors are gonna listen to him..keep writing Ian!

  • POSTED BY Kunal-Talgeri on | July 4, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    Hehe... I remember Chappelli's last wild suggestion to Indian selectors in 2008: to include Sehwag in the Test line-up defying his form. It made a difference. Guess Flintoff will have a similar influence. And Swann-Flintoff in tandem makes for a mouth-watering bowling spell at both ends. Also, England is not able to match what Aus is doing by reviving Shaun Tait. Ashes 2010-11 will be something!

  • POSTED BY GHemrajani on | July 4, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    Totally agree with Chappell. Got to do what it takes to win the Ashes. Look at England's top fast bowler - James Anderson - and compare him with Shaun Tait in the 5th one dayer. England cannot win the Ashes without some out of the box thinking.

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | July 4, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    Ian Chappell has often made some suggestions in selection that have turned out to be brilliant ones. I remember he had recommended that Sehwag be brought back to the Indian team before they toured Australia. It turned out to be a master-stroke because Sehwag has indeed gone to the level of all time greats after that and India has benefitted greatly in consequence. I agree with his suggestion to bring back Flintoff for the Ashes. An attack of Flintoff, Finn, Broad and maybe Anderson could be a match to the hostile Australian attack, expected to be spearheaded by Tait and Nannes.The Ashes and its relevance has suffered over the years as we all know. But this series promises to be as memorable as the famous Tie Drawn series in 1961. That series was also preceded by great expectations in the media. Of Sobers, Kanhai, Worrell, Hall and Gibbs on one side matching Macdonald, Harvey O'Neill Benaud and Davidson on the other.This time too all cricket lovers would love to watch the action

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  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | July 4, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    Ian Chappell has often made some suggestions in selection that have turned out to be brilliant ones. I remember he had recommended that Sehwag be brought back to the Indian team before they toured Australia. It turned out to be a master-stroke because Sehwag has indeed gone to the level of all time greats after that and India has benefitted greatly in consequence. I agree with his suggestion to bring back Flintoff for the Ashes. An attack of Flintoff, Finn, Broad and maybe Anderson could be a match to the hostile Australian attack, expected to be spearheaded by Tait and Nannes.The Ashes and its relevance has suffered over the years as we all know. But this series promises to be as memorable as the famous Tie Drawn series in 1961. That series was also preceded by great expectations in the media. Of Sobers, Kanhai, Worrell, Hall and Gibbs on one side matching Macdonald, Harvey O'Neill Benaud and Davidson on the other.This time too all cricket lovers would love to watch the action

  • POSTED BY GHemrajani on | July 4, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    Totally agree with Chappell. Got to do what it takes to win the Ashes. Look at England's top fast bowler - James Anderson - and compare him with Shaun Tait in the 5th one dayer. England cannot win the Ashes without some out of the box thinking.

  • POSTED BY Kunal-Talgeri on | July 4, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    Hehe... I remember Chappelli's last wild suggestion to Indian selectors in 2008: to include Sehwag in the Test line-up defying his form. It made a difference. Guess Flintoff will have a similar influence. And Swann-Flintoff in tandem makes for a mouth-watering bowling spell at both ends. Also, England is not able to match what Aus is doing by reviving Shaun Tait. Ashes 2010-11 will be something!

  • POSTED BY mumbaiguy79 on | July 4, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    bunch of bull fertilizer from Chappell..as if English selectors are gonna listen to him..keep writing Ian!

  • POSTED BY JAMIAWALA on | July 4, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    I think Anderson, Broad and Swann are excellent bowlers capable of winning the Ashes for England. They need another couple of good bowlers to back them up. Flintoff could be a good choice but I fiercely doubt whether he will be back to his best. He could be more of a 2nd change bowler, at best, I believe..

  • POSTED BY anurag23bhide on | July 4, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    England minus Flintoff is not even half the attack they are when he is in the XI. In a series as big as the Ashes, the English definitely need a man of personality to rile the Aussies and back it up with performances on-field and Flintoff's the best man for the job.

    What's more interesting is how Ponting uses Tait, if he decides to use him at all. He is a man best underbowled, to conserve his firepower and short sharp bursts of pace would be the best bet, the way he has been used in the ODIs. I think he will be most potent bowling short 3/4 over spells 5/6 times spread out over the day.

  • POSTED BY gujratwalla on | July 4, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    Chappell has got a point here.Last time England regained the Ashes they had three nasties in Harmison,Jones and Flintoff.It is a known fact that Aussies are jumpy against geniune pace bowlers.Chappel would remember the mauling John Snow gave his team in 1970-71.I wouldn't say Flintoff must come in but perhaps England have a fast bowler lurking in the county circuit who is still untried yet.

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | July 4, 2010, 7:04 GMT

    punter will be touring India before eng tour aus i think. So punter will have a stern test there,coz as history suggests,he's always been poor in India. But for a change,if he succeeds in India,it'll give boost to his waning career,then it'll be tough for eng to contain him in aus.

  • POSTED BY since7 on | July 4, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    Very surprised that ian has called for freddie's inclusion.Calling a dropped sehwag back is one thing but I am not sure whether freddie a fast bowler and a genuine allrounder can go through the pounding of 5 ashes tests in australia.He hasnt been effective in the australian pitches afterall.firstly,its more of a wish which one would like to come to reality rather than a possible one but even then the article only presents ian's lack of confidence in english pace attack which s a bit right too.swann sure will be the key but have the english team got enough firepower in their tank and the all elusive balance in their ranks.I dont think so but again,expected ian to be his practical self but he has slipped for a change

  • POSTED BY amitrathivamnicom on | July 4, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    hardly convincing.......flintoff is past his prime and larwood was just starting to made a mark in test arena..............and most importantly freddie wont b an easy guy to convince for this job.........hardly seeing it happenning mr.chappell