Forget about Ashes for now says Flintoff

Although this coming Ashes is the most eagerly anticipated of series, the England captain Andrew Flintoff was yesterday trying to urge his team to concentrate on the here and now: the Champions Trophy in India.

"Our immediate concern is this present series," Flintoff said as the team arrived in New Delhi. "Yes, we are preparing for the Ashes, but our target is capitalising on the momentum that has been with us ever since our semi-final win against Australia during the previous Champions Trophy in England."

However, while that momentum has rarely been seen outside the five-day game, Flintoff is backing his young team to exceed expectations in India. "We have had a tough summer in one-dayers," he said. "We have played some strong opposition and our inexperienced side showed a lot of character and came up with fine results. We have had quite a few captains due to injuries but ...the way we drew the series against Pakistan was amazing."

While Flintoff was concentrating on the Trophy, Shane Warne was looking ahead to the fight for the urn and believes England made the right choice in choosing Flintoff as captain.

"It's an aggressive move," Warne said. "I'm sure he will do a good job. I don't think it's a risk. You look at the candidates and I think he will need someone like Andrew Strauss. At times he will go to Strauss to work out the right time to bowl, etc. He [Strauss] can keep an eye on things while he's bowling. But I think it's a good move from England."

Ashley Giles says he is almost ready for the "biggest challenge any of us will face in cricket".

"I'm at the end of the hip injury and very confident that the rest of the winter is going to go fine," the 33-year-old said. "Physically I'm in the best shape I've been in [for] a decade."

Meanwhile, Glenn McGrath, rather predictably, has predicted a 5-0 Ashes victory for Australia.

* The West Indies took just 14.2 overs to chase down Zimbabwe's paltry 85 and win their opening Champions Trophy qualifier by nine wickets yesterday.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue