Andrew Flintoff will go straight into the starting XI for the second Test against the Proteas at Headingley, despite his lack of game time.
Flintoff has not played Test cricket for 18 months due to injury. During this time England have fielded the same team for a world record six consecutive Tests.
Captain Michael Vaughan said that Freddie would come into the starting line up but with Ryan Sidebottom still suffering from a back strain, Vaughan could not say who Flintoff would replace.
“We are waiting on Ryan Sidebottom’s injury. He’s got a stiff back today. We are not going to know until the morning whether he’s available to play tomorrow. Chris Tremlett will come in as cover,” Vaughan told the media.
Although not naming who Flintoff would replace, the England skipper did admit that the big man would bat at number seven.
“I’ve always saw him more as a number seven. I think his style of play is very much suited to that position. He’s very attacking,” Vaughan added.
“Given the opportunity and the chance, he can take the game away from the opposition from that position. He’s happy there, he feels very comfortable there at the minute and also it takes a little bit of pressure off him.”
Paul Collingwood, who has been struggling for form of late, is widely expected to be the man to face the chop but the injury to Sidebottom might just save him. Flintoff’s inclusion shows England’s intent to add some much needed firepower to their bowling attack.