Strauss, Ponting hail Flintoff's pace exploits

Andrew Strauss and Ricky Pontinghave hailed Andrew Flintoff's fast bowling art, which is making a difference in the ongoing Ashes series.

updated: July 22, 2009 06:32 IST
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Rival Ashes skippers -- Andrew Strauss and Ricky Ponting -- have hailed Andrew Flintoff's fast bowling art, which is making a difference in the ongoing Test series between the two teams.

Flintoff's third five-wicket haul enabled hosts England win their first Test at Lord's in 75 years.

England skipper Strauss said Flintoff is the most feared bowler around the world at present.

"If you were to list the top three bowlers in world cricket that batsmen don't want to face, Fred is going to be on that list and probably at the top of it. No one enjoys facing him and sometimes he doesn't get his just rewards for the hostility he bowls with," Strauss said

"That consistent hostility is unpleasant. It is, quite frankly, unpleasant in the nets and it's not much fun in the middle either," he added.

Australia skipper Ponting was no different when asked for his comments and he compared Flintoff with fast bowling legends like Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh and Wasim Akram.

"Ambrose wasn't bad at it, Courtney Walsh wasn't bad at it, Wasim Akram wasn't bad at it. We've all encountered very good spells of fast bowling throughout our careers.

"We've always said that when he's up and running and bowling as well as he can he's as good as anyone, probably, going around.

"If you ask all our batters who faced him this game, they'll say he's right up there with the best quicks in the world," Ponting was quoted as saying in the Australia.

Strauss also warned the visitors that England will not drop the intensity with which it has fought so far.

"It's a great situation to be 1-0 up in the series. It was pretty much the ideal response (after the first Test draw in Cardiff). We had been given momentum from the final day in Cardiff.

"If we can continue to play that sort of positive, aggressive cricket, we will put them under pressure again and then it's just a matter of us taking our chances," Strauss said.