I will be fit for Ashes, says Andrew Flintoff

Published: Tuesday, August 15, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Andrew Flintoff has declared himself fit for the Ashes. The stand-in for regular skipper Michael Vaughan said he will be fit to carry on his all-round duties in the November series.

''I will be fit for the Ashes,'' Flintoff told the Courier Mail.

The talismanic all-rounder, who underwent an ankle surgery two weeks ago, insisted his recovery was going as scheduled and he would be ready to take his place in the team for the first Test at the Gabba on November 23.

''The ankle is feeling fine. I had the operation about two weeks ago now and it's going well," Flintoff said. "I will be fit for the Ashes. I'll still bowl the same whenever I need to,'' he said.

Having watched England win the Test series against Pakistan without him, Flintoff says he has become ''fearful'' about retaining his place in the team.

''The boys have done so well I'm a bit fearful for my place.

Andrew Strauss has done a great job as captain and not put a foot wrong,'' he said.

However, things are not looking as bright for an Australian Ashes hero, who was dropped from the Test team after scoring a Test double-hundred as a number 11 batsman.

Jason Gillespie has given up hopes of making it to the Australian team for the Ashes.

''I'll be honest with you, I think I am no chance for the first Test,'' Gillespie told the same newspaper from England, where he is playing county cricket for Yorkshire.

''I got man of the match and the series with eight wickets at 11 and a double hundred and won't play the next Test . . . it will be a good trivia question,'' he added.

Gillespie said he was well aware that Brett Lee and comeback star Glenn McGrath along with newcomer Stuart Clark would be the first choice for the Ashes and admitted that he was not very positive about his chances.

''I have not been getting a great vibe about my chances. I know my one-day career is over. I still feel as if my Test career has something to offer but I am down in the queue.

''I know Stuart Clark, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee are ahead of me. You've got Kasper (Michael Kasprowicz) who has been injured, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson. I see myself as below those guys,'' he admitted.

The pacer felt that he did not fit into the future plans of Cricket Australia.

''I know they are dying to introduce a new lease of life into the bowling attack and I don't think they really see much of a future in me. I can handle that,'' he said.

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