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Flintoff or Pietersen may open batting


Last Updated: October 10, 2006, 17:48 IST

Flintoff or Pietersen may open batting

England were discussing the possibility of Flintoff or Pietersen opening the batting at the Champions Trophy.

London: Chairman of selectors David Graveney hinted on Monday that England were discussing the possibility of captain Andrew Flintoff or Kevin Pietersen opening the batting at the ICC Champions Trophy in India.

"Attacking the first 10 overs of the powerplay is going to be a critical part of the game and who is going to do that job is what we're looking at," Graveney told reporters at Lord's.

Asked about media reports that Flintoff may be in line to open, Graveney replied: "It is not necessarily about 'Freddie' personally, it is about how we are going to attack the powerplay.

"People outside the team have talked about KP (Pietersen) moving up the order. There's no doubt Sri Lanka attack those first 15, 20 overs and I'm sure it is an area we need to look at."

Graveney said another reason the England camp were looking at a re-jig of their One-Day International batting order was the absence in India of Marcus Trescothick and Michael Vaughan.

"Without "Tres" and "Vaughny", we're obviously minus two people who would be leading candidates to go in at the beginning of the order," said the chairman of selectors.

Graveney was at Lord's for the launch of a three-month tour of six Australian cities by the original Ashes urn.

The exhibition was arranged to coincide with England's defence of the Ashes which starts at the first Test in Brisbane in November.

England begin their Champions Trophy campaign against India in Jaipur on Sunday but Graveney said the side could land a psychological blow ahead of the Ashes if they could defeat Australia at the same ground on October 21.

"I think our ICC Trophy win over Australia in 2004 was a really big game for us (ahead of last year's Ashes win)," said Graveney.

"Our dressing room didn't know how they could beat Australia and the reverse was true for Australia, they rarely lost to England.

"It was quite a comfortable victory. If we could do the same in India, I am sure an advantage could be drawn from that."
first published:October 10, 2006, 17:48 IST
last updated:October 10, 2006, 17:48 IST