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Flintoff Fit to Return to the Scene of the Crime


Life President
May 29, 2005
A criminal always returns to the scene of the crime. Jack the Ripper never strayed too far from Whitechapel, and England wept with joy at the news that Andrew Flintoff will be fit to return to Edgbaston, the scene of his slaughter of eleven Australians in August 2005.

That fateful game four years ago saw England dramatically win by just two runs to tie the series, with Flintoff devastating with both the bat and ball as Australia whimpered without Glenn McGrath, who suffered a freak injury in the warm up.

Sport has a funny way of creating precedents and sticking to them almost miraculously, although some would be welcomed back more fondly than others in Birmingham these coming five days, or less if the English summer has its wicked way.

Whilst Flintoff produced a top scoring display with the bat in the second innings and ripped through the Ozzie batting order, taking seven wickets over both innings, Ian Bell fell into the clammy, Fosters ridden hands of the Australians and came up with a single-figure score for the third successive time.

With Pietersen injured and Bopara out of sorts, England need Bell to be at the very top of his game to add strength to a top order that is shaken to the core. He protests he can cope with the pressure and has the unwavering support of England players both past and present, yet the watching public will continue to remain critical until he can prove his worth as a top-order batsman.

This isn't to mention the fact the touring Australians have their problems too... Mitchell Johnson and, to a lesser extent, Nathan Haurtiz, weren't exactly given an easy ride by the critics after their bowling in the last test. Journalists and cricket fans on both sides of the World got in on the act, and the coincidences continue with Brett Lee failing to make his comeback from injury to spearhead the attack.

The focus of the press remains on Flintoff, that's to be expected following on from his inspirational display at Lords. I doubt I'll be the only one hoping he's a re offender, leading the slaughter of eleven more Australians this week... The real criminal, however, could yet prove to be the English weather which looks extremely likely to hamper any play over the next five days.
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