Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has praised Andrew Strauss’ test team, saying that they are better than the 2005 Ashes winning side.
Flintoff was instrumental six years ago as England secured a memorable series win over Australia, but he believes the current crop has the edge in terms of quality, strength and longevity.
Explaining his thinking, he said: “England are the best team in the world already. Not just in ranking, but also in strength, they have got everything.”
“The strength of it and the depth is incredible. In 2005 we had 11 players who had a memorable few weeks and played at their best for a period, but we never played together again.”
“This side have a squad. We’ve seen them replace players without blinking and it has made no difference to the performance and that has been happening for a while now.”
“I don’t see why they can’t dominate for a long time. They have strong enough players to do it. Australia and West Indies did it and England should be able to do it for the next few years.”
Flintoff is on the money here, no doubt. Several England players are at the peak of their powers and ready to kick on even after this current series against India.
Strauss is a fantastic captain, but his job is made a lot easier by the players he has around him. When he needs a wicket, he can throw the ball to the leading swing bowler in the world James Anderson, the best spinner in the world Graeme Swann or the rejuvenated Stuart Broad. Then there is aggressive duo Chris Tremlett and Tim Bresnan to consider.
The fact that one of these might have to miss out for the next test says a lot about England’s strength too and Flintoff was keen to praise this element of the England set-up too.
He said: “There are no weak links. They are playing with a confidence and a swagger that goes with being the best. They’ve got every department covered and if someone gets injured then another one comes in and does a job.”
India on the other hand have plenty of problems with injuries to Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh to worry about. It is all looking good for England ahead of the third test next week.