I fly out to Sydney in full expectaion of a whitewash. Flintoff's captaincy, one that he eagerly sought according to reports, has proved disastrous for the team. England's failures have proved a two month lap of honour for Warne and McGrath. Who can blame them for enjoying this final high. They are two of the best bowlers in the world. Statues, stadia and status await.
Now they are contemplating the replacement of Mahmood with Jamie Dalrymple, importing an all-round spinner as a replacement for Ashley Giles. It is doubtful that this will strengthen the low morale and lack of spirit that has characterised this English side. When all heard Flintoff after the match, there was a gulf between ther supine surrender witnessed by the fans and the wilful ignorance broadcast by the captain.
Whilst Australia are by far the better side, a woeful decision to bat and poor fielding strategies, left England with a mountain to climb, and three days proved their worth. Flintoff's lack of experience, his appetite for victory and his inability to muster the troops leave me cold to the expected result at the SCG: another Australian victory.
If Flintoff wishes to redeem some small cheer for the fans, and ensure that his last game as captain is not an ignominious failure, then he needs to achieve victory. Not a draw, but victory. This may go some way to salve our pride and, perhaps, may lead to a renewed appointment, some years down the line, when he has drawn valuable lessons from his overpromotion.
Otherwise, Flintoff, follow the advice your name gives the rest of us. The second syllable is off.....