England hit by familiar Flintoff fear

Harmison called into Lord's Test squad as back-up after troublesome knee flares up

England's great escape was undermined yesterday by a familiar predicament. Andrew Flintoff may be forced to miss the second Ashes Test at Lord's because of injury. If his probable absence has become a regular refrain, it still threatens seriously to disturb the team's preparations before the match, which starts on Thursday, and their strategy during it.

The doubts surrounding Flintoff, who has swelling and soreness in the knee on which he had surgery only six weeks ago, made it straightforward for the selectors to include Stephen Harmison in a squad of 14. But it allowed no more time to bask in the delight of leaving Cardiff with a draw in the opening match of the series.

For most of the final day Australia were banker winners, having dominated most of the contest. England's performance with both bat and ball was unacceptably limp and only in the game's last knockings, with the last pair at the crease, did they exhibit enough fortitude to resist Australia.

They also refuted, somewhat too sanctimoniously, the allegation they had been guilty of gamesmanship by sending on the 12th man and the physiotherapist to use up time in the last hour. Geoff Miller, the national selector, said: "We had to make sure our batsmen knew what the overs situation was. It was very convoluted, very difficult and there were discrepancies on the sidelines, never mind in the middle."

Had Paul Collingwood demonstrated the defective methods and frail temperaments of his colleagues, the non-time wasting would not have been possible. The match would have been over soon after lunch and the Ashes would be on their way again. But Collingwood batted for almost six hours in scoring 74 precious runs.

The revelation of Flintoff's injury came as news to the dressing room as well as the public, although it can hardly have been a surprise to either party. He went for a scan on the knee yesterday and will be monitored in the next two days. Miller said Flintoff had twisted his knee while fielding in Cardiff.

"Harmison is in as cover for Flintoff... although he could have played alongside Freddie in any event," said Miller. "In the end we will have to wait and see what the conditions are like and what kind of format we want the side to have, whether we have an extra batter, or one spinner or no spinners. Harmison is bowling with rhythm – hopefully he can bowl with that rhythm in a Test match."

But with Big Steve selection in the past two seasons has always been made in hope rather than expectation. Miller was rightly but uncharacteristically scathing of England's poor display.

Having paid tribute to the tail-end heroics of James Anderson and Monty Panesar, he said: "We are well aware, however, that we did not perform well in Cardiff over the five days and will need to improve in all areas of our game if we are to overcome what is a strong Australian side. I just think we underperformed generally. They are far better players than they showed us in that match. Our batters have got to put up a better showing."

Collingwood, the hero of the day, remained unexcited, the quality which enabled him to bat for six long hours. "I do love these kind of situations and to be able to get out in the middle and do your bit to help, so I can take a bit of pride in what I did, but at the moment it means nothing."

Casualty list: Flintoff's injury record

*Freddie's injuries

2000

Breaks foot in South Africa. Suffers back injury, breaks nose in Pakistan

2002

Undergoes hernia operation. Leaves Ashes tour early with groin injury

2003

Shoulder injury rules him out of Tests with Zimbabwe and Bangladesh

2005

Flies home from South Africa for

surgery on left ankle

2006

Further surgery on left ankle

2007

Out of Windies Tests with ankle trouble

2008

Misses Test series against New Zealand after suffering side strain

2009

Hip injury ends tour of West Indies. Injures right knee playing in the IPL in South Africa



*Andrew Flintoff has missed 25 of 48 Test matches since England reclaimed the Ashes in September 2005. Of the 23 Tests in which the all-rounder has featured, England have won just three.

.....................P......... W

England since Sept 2005: ......... 48......... 15

With Flintoff in team:......... 23......... 3

Without Flintoff:......... 25......... 12

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices