~~Burden of captaincy could douse Flintoff~~s fire~~

Published: Tuesday, March 7, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Even though captain Andrew Flintoff looked like enjoying his new job, legendary all-rounder Ian Botham's poor record as captain has not convinced coach Duncan Fletcher that the stand-in captain should take over from Michael Vaughan when the current captain vacates the job, says former pace bowler Angus Fraser.

Botham captained England in 12 Test matches between June 1980 and July 1981. While in charge he scored 276 runs at a lowly average of 13.14 and took 35 wickets at an average of 33.09.

With Botham in mind, Fletcher fears the task of leading the side may detract Flintoff from his all-round powers, Fraser wrote in his column in The Independent today.

''He had a lot to do just as an all-rounder and adding the captaincy could be... But, you never know with an individual. It might be just what he needs to step his game up to another level but we will only find that out later on. There might be a chance that it is asking too much of him,'' Fletcher was quoted as saying by the newspaper in Mohali, the venue of the second Test against India.

''He captained well considering the circumstances. It wasn't an easy game. He was thrown in and had to grab hold of the reins straight away, which he did. He wants to lead from the front, you could see that character.

He grabbed that ball on the final day when he realised it was his job to try and contain them for a while. He took the job in really difficult circumstances and he has done very well,'' the coach had said.

Media had reported Flintoff as saying that he was looking forward for Vaughan to captain the side again though he did not find captaincy a burden.

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