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The VB Series - England Injury Plight

Another Injury for England

Just when it seemed nothing much else could go wrong with England’s tour of Australia, than key all-rounder Andrew Flintoff was packing his bags for home.
Flintoff returned yesterday to see the surgeon who operated on him during the summer for further treatment and rehabilitation in a bid to have him fit for

next February’s World Cup.
It’s a big blow for England going into the one-day series against Sri Lanka and Australia and for the Ashes team who were hoping a fit Freddie would help them restore some pride in the final two matches of the Ashes series.
Freddie’s misfortune is Adam Hollioake’s gain, but it really doesn’t matter who England send out against Australia these days all can expect a torrid time.

England Plight
A measure of England’s plight can be seen in just how many players have been involved so far Down Under. We have had no fewer than 30 on duty compared to the normal 20, who would normally be on duty for a Test ad one-day series. And England have not only been stripped of Flintoff, but also Graham Thorpe, Michael Vaughan, Darren Gough and Matthew Hoggard half the team they were grooming over the last 18 months for World Cup glory next year. It leaves us with one of the most inexperienced bowling attacks we have ever had.

The Triangular Series
There has been no respite in the build-up to the triangular series starting in Sydney on Friday because in the warm-up games, the Australian sides have been extremely strong ones to keep us on the back foot. No fools these Aussies, they play a very clever game both on the field and in the mind.

But what a chance there is on Friday for our young hopefuls not only to make a name for themselves, but also force their way into the reckoning for the World Cup. Believe me, it gets no better or intimidating - than a day-nighter match in Sydney with 50,000+ building up a tremendous atmosphere.
Not that the England players will feel lonely out there because there will be 1,000’s of Poms in the ground lending their support even though they appreciate England’s chances are slim and slimmer.

These are the days a professional cricketer plays for even though the lads must be a bit down at the moment. They just have to enjoy themselves because without enjoyment there is no chance of success. If we go out there believing we are going to get pummelled then we might as well not bother putting the pads on.

You can be sure that Australia will expose any weakness so it is vital that we do well against Sri Lanka. Heaven knows what it will do to what is left of our confidence if we don’t reach the final.

It’s doubtful that we will beat Australia at the moment so that increases the pressure on us to do well against a Sri Lankan side that does not normally impress on quick and bouncy wickets as their recent trip to South Africa showed.

If we are going to make any impact at all then we have to get into their medium pacers and dictate the play because you only get your confidence back through winning.

That first win cannot come soon enough for England, but I wouldn’t bank on it tomorrow night against Australia.

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