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

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Sport
Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane
football
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
News
i100
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

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015