Andrew Flintoff is out of the Fourth Test against the West Indies, which could precipitate a considerable restructure in England’s middle order as they attempt to fight their way back into the series.
With Graeme Swann also a doubt through injury, England have already flown out cover in the form of Amjad Khan and Ravi Bopara. The two arrived this week from New Zealand, where they were touring with the England Lions. Adil Rashid, of course, is also out in the Caribbean, but his inexperience is likely to mitigate against his selection even if Swann joins Flintoff on the sidelines.
Whatever decision is made about the make-up of the side, Flintoff’s sheer presence and ‘heart‘ will be greatly missed by the tourists. There is certainly no ready-made replacement available to England in terms of his bowling, and even if there were, there is no-one in English cricket with the talismanic properties that Freddie occasionally displays.