Boycott questions leadership skills of Flintoff

Published: Wednesday, May 17, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Former England captain Geoff Boycott, who till recently called Andrew Flintoff a ready replacement for Michael Vaughan, has now questioned the leadership skills of the all-rounder, saying that he was unimaginative and complacent in the drawn Test against Sri Lanka.

''There has been plenty of talk about Andrew Flintoff's captaincy. Flintoff sat back and waited for things to happen -- If Michael Vaughan had been captain they would have won,'' Boycott wrote in his column for BBC Sport.

''There was a malaise about the whole team and he got sucked into it, sitting back and waiting for things to happen,'' he said criticising the team's and in particular Flintoff's attitude on the last day of the match, which saw England drop nine catches.

''It should have been a formality but England weren't intense enough and didn't show the desire they did against Australia,'' he said referring to the team's Ashes triumph last summer.

''They were very committed and focused against the Aussies last summer, but against Sri Lanka they thought they were going to win easily and took their eye off the ball,'' he added.

Calling Vaughan the best captain in the world, Boycott said had the regular skipper been in charge of the proceedings he would not have allowed the English grip on the match to slip and would have come up with different strategies to counter the Sri Lankans.

''Vaughan is the best captain in the world and would have told some of the players to get their fingers out. He would have been inventive and imaginative with the field placings just as he was last year when he was far superior to Australia's Ricky Ponting,'' Boycott said.

However, the former captain was hopeful that the hosts would regroup and win the remaining two matches as they were a better side compared to the Lankans.

''I'd just demand a better attitude and concentration. I expect England to win both remaining Tests. With the ability they have they should win. They're a better side than Sri Lanka - to let them off the hook was poor and they shouldn't do it again,'' he said.

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