Lancashire 143 & 293 Durham 114 & 90: Captain lays down law on talisman's case for England call

For once, the story here was not Andrew Flintoff, although it was impossible to keep him out of any conversation, not least with his captain, Stuart Law. Much as he wanted to talk about how James Anderson had bowled as Durham collapsed to 90 all out yesterday morning, completing Lancashire's first Championship win of the season, Law's warmth for Flintoff could not be contained.

"Should he be in the England side for the first Test? For me it's a no-brainer," Law said. "That spell he bowled to Paul Collingwood on Thursday night was the best working-over of a world-class batsman I've seen in a long time.

"It could have been Ricky Ponting or Brian Lara at the other end, they still would have felt the heat. Ask Justin Langer, too, about the hour he had against him here a couple of weeks ago. For him not to be in the team would be ridiculous. There is no question about his fitness. People think he is a lager lout but the poor guy does more fitness work than anyone. If you spent a week with him you'd know how much he wants to be back in the England side.

"You guys are making too much of his batting. If he gets a duck it's all over the papers but in the nets he is hitting the ball better than ever. He is doing his utmost to get it right. If he isn't scoring runs, my answer would be to bat him at No 11 because the fact is that he is bowling out of this world."

Aware that the Test selector Geoff Miller was present, Law confessed that he did not expect to be picking Flintoff next week against Nottinghamshire. Nor would he count on Anderson's availability. Having finished the tour to New Zealand in the Test side, Anderson would be unlucky to miss out.

In taking nine wickets for 77 in this match, Anderson consistently bowled the ideal length for his late away swing. On a muggy morning yesterday, taking 5 for 25 in 11.4 overs, he blew Durham away. That allowed Flintoff to spend half an hour off the field, reading a newspaper in the dressing-room. It was an indulgence, but his work was done.

News
news
Arts and Entertainment
British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
booksPanel hail Helen Macdonald's 'brilliantly written, muscular prose' in memoir of a grief-stricken daughter who became obsessed with training a goshawk
Sport
footballLive blog: Follow the action from the Capital One Cup semi-final
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
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

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy