Legendary Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson has ruled out any chance of England winning the Ashes urn despite the return of Andrew Flintoff who has been declared fit for his swan-song Test.
“England have no chance of winning the Ashes - because the Aussies no longer fear Freddie Flintoff,” Thomson said.
“Bringing Flintoff back for the final Test at The Oval next week won’t fool our blokes. They know England are pinning all their hopes on a saviour charging in to bowl on one leg,” he wrote in the Daily Mirror
”... the fact is his knee is crocked. England have to take 20 wickets next week to save their skins and, Flintoff or no Flintoff, they haven’t got the bowlers to do it,” he added.
Thomson explained why he did not see England bouncing back in the fifth and final Test, starting at the Oval from August 20.
Australia will retain the coveted urn even if the fifth and final Test is drawn as they had won the last Ashes at home in 2006-07.
“The worm turned at Edgbaston, where Freddie didn’t take a single wicket in the match. The penny dropped with Australia that if they could see off Flintoff, they could draw the sting from England’s whole game plan.
“And since England capitulated at Headingley to surrender their 1-0 lead in the series, there’s no way back for them,” he said.