Andrew Flintoff: His greatest innings and best deliveries
Andrew Flintoff has been appointed as head coach of the Northern Superchargers in The Hundred as the former England captain continues his return to the public eye following a serious car accident.
Flintoff gradually returned to the limelight through cricket in the summer after a crash last December while filming a stunt for the BBC show Top Gear left him hospitalised with facial and rib injuries.
He is now set for his first head coach role and replaces ex-England wicketkeeper James Foster, who left the Superchargers’ men’s team last week after two years with the Headingley-based outfit.
The news has prompted us to take a trip down memory lane and look back at the best batting and bowling performances of Andrew Flintoff’s Test career.
Andrew Flintoff – greatest Test innings
137 v New Zealand at Jade Stadium, Christchurch – First Test, March 2002
Flintoff announced himself as a genuine Test all-rounder with a breakthrough century that bore the hallmarks of the muscular strokeplay that would make him one of the most feared players in the world.
After being recalled to the Test side the previous winter, and making a 14-ball duck in the first innings, Flintoff cast off the shackles thrashing his way to 137 in an innings that comprised 110 runs worth of boundaries. He combined with Graham Thorpe in a 281-run stand for the sixth wicket, then the fourth-highest in Test cricket, that helped England recover from 106 for five and pave the way for victory by 98 runs.
142 v South Africa at Lord’s, London – Second Test, August 2003
Flintoff played a lone hand in England’s second innings as they slumped to a humiliating innings defeat against South Africa at Lord’s. He started his knock with England having lost three for none, to slump to 208 for six, but despite the situation dominated the tourists’ attack to score his first century against the Proteas from 112 balls.
He struck 18 fours and five sixes in his 142, but as his team-mates fell around him it was not enough to make South Africa bat again.
95 v South Africa at The Oval, London – Fifth Test, September 2003
A blistering knock of 95 helped England grab the initiative after South Africa, leading the series 2-1, had looked to bat the hosts out of the series with their 484 batting first.
England would surpass that thanks to Flintoff who combined in a 99-run stand for the ninth wicket with Steve Harmison, who added just six runs, as England declared on 604 for nine. Flintoff struck 14 fours and four sixes with the momentum of his quickfire knock helping England go on and win the Test by nine wickets and level the series 2-2.
167 v West Indies at Edgbaston, Birmingham – Second Test, August 2004
The highest score of his Test career came during arguably Flintoff’s best period with the bat during his career.
In a record-breaking summer for England, when they won all seven Tests against the touring New Zealand and West Indies, Flintoff passed fifty in each match. The highlight was his 167 at Edgbaston where he flayed a weakened West Indies attack, led by Pedro Collins, Corey Collymore and Jermaine Lawson.
102 v Australia at Trent Bridge, Nottingham – Fourth Test, August 2005
Flintoff’s first-innings century proved pivotal in a Test victory that gave England the 2-1 lead that would secure them their first Ashes series win in 18 years.
It was characteristically an all-guns blazing stay at the crease as the Lancastrian struck 14 fours and a six, while also adding 177 for the sixth wicket with Geraint Jones. The century, the fifth of his Test career, was also the last time Flintoff reached the milestone.
Andrew Flintoff – greatest Test wickets
1998 J Kallis c Stewart b Flintoff 47, fourth Test v South Africa at Trent Bridge
Debatable whether this delivery, which nipped back to take the inside edge, ranks in Flintoff’s top drawer. It got him going on debut, though, broke a very handy stand of 79 – and Kallis is a five-star first victim for anyone, in a cauldron of a series England fought back to win.
2004 B Lara b Flintoff 0, third Test v West Indies at Old Trafford
It is hard to imagine much higher testament of anyone’s skills than to say master batsman Lara was no match for them. On this occasion at least, there was no argument – Flintoff terrorising the Windies captain before bowling him round his legs with a pinpoint delivery of extreme pace, in a series England won 4-0 as they gathered their glorious 2005 momentum.
2005 R Ponting c G Jones b Flintoff 0, second Test v Australia at Edgbaston
Flintoff followed up his crucial runs with a spell of the highest class on the third evening of a famous match England would win by two runs. Having cleaned up Justin Langer, he concluded the same over – full of fast inswingers – with a leg-cutter to see off the Australia captain for a fourth-ball duck.
2005 M Hayden b Flintoff 36, third Test v Australia at Old Trafford
Flintoff et al more or less routinely eliminated Hayden’s threat at the top of the order and Adam Gilchrist’s game-breaking middle-order potential throughout the summer. When he bowled the opener round his legs with more searing pace, it did not prove to be quite enough to help force an England victory in Manchester – but it was symptomatic of the hosts’ unexpected series supremacy.
2008 J Kallis b Flintoff 64, third Test v South Africa at Edgbaston
Flintoff was inspired as he tore into a well-set Kallis and roused the crowd with a magnificent display of fast bowling. Flintoff narrowly missed the off stump with a yorker before ruffling Kallis with two short balls and then having a good lbw appeal turned down. He soon got his man, however, bowling him with an inswinging yorker next over.
2009 P Siddle b Flintoff 7, second Test v Australia at Lord’s
An on-fire Flintoff tore through the Australia lower order on the final morning as the tourists chased a mammoth and unlikely victory target. With four wickets already to his name, Flintoff steamed in again off a shortened run-up, producing a repeat of the delivery which nipped back to bowl Nathan Hauritz a few minutes earlier.
Siddle was done through the gate and the England players mobbed Flintoff for a performance which won them the second Test – and produced a rare five-wicket haul for Freddie.