Flintoff aims for Lord's return against Black Caps
Saturday 22 March 2008
Andrew Flintoff has his sights on the first Test against New Zealand at Lord's after coming through the Pro Arabian Cricket Challenge.
Flintoff, 30, concluded Lancashire's involvement pre-season tournament with a half-century in the 41-run defeat to Yorkshire and took his tally of overs to nine in two games with figures of 4-0-22-1.
He has not played in a Test since Australia completed an Ashes whitewash in Sydney in January last year, because of prolonged trouble with his left ankle, there have been positive signs in the early stages of his latest comeback.
"I would love to play a Test match at Lord's, but the one thing that I am not going to do is get carried away," Flintoff said.
"I know that if I want to play for England, then I have got to be fit. I won't be able to just walk back into that side. I have got to focus all my energies on playing for Lancashire. If I can stay fit and perform, then I would hopefully be in the shake up on 15 May."
Flintoff, who underwent a fourth operation on his left ankle last October, found rhythm and avoided pain in his bowling ventures in the Pro ARCH event.
"The ankle is fine," he added. "It wasn't too taxing, and I am happy with the way things are, of how the ankle is standing up to the rigours of bowling.
"Everybody tells me I am at 70 per cent, but I don't know – I might be at 72.
"I am certainly not hitting the crease as hard as I would like, but it feels good and easy. I was always confident that once I was fit that my bowling would be fine. It is still early days, and I am not going to get carried away.
"Hopefully, we will be having this conversation in the middle of June when I have had 200 overs under my belt. At this moment I am happy with it. I just hope it continues in that way."
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