Melbourne:Andrew Flintoff is struggling to lift the sagging morale of his teammates these days but Australian all-rounder Shane Watson insists the Englishman is an inspirational figure and credited his fine performance in India to a pep-talk from the 2005 Ashes hero.
Watson recalled a chance interaction with Flintoff during the 2005 Ashes, saying the talismanic player's words of wisdom helped him understand his role in the team and it paid off in the Test series against India.
Watson shone both with bat and bowl in the otherwise doomed four-Test series for Australia which it lost 0-2.
"I remember in 2005 I sat down and had a chat to Freddy Flintoff about being an all-rounder. (He said) 'It's either your bowling's going really well or your batting's going really well. But when it comes together in one day or one game, you feel like you're just about invincible," Watson was quoted as saying by 'The Sydney Morning Herald'.
"Throughout that Test series in India, I understood exactly what he's saying, being able to go through it. Sometimes I was able to contribute with the bat, at the start of the tour especially, and then mentally had to make sure I was up for my bowling as well. And vice versa.
"It was a massive learning curve, especially on that aspect. It makes a lot of sense what Freddie said," he said.
Flintoff is currently playing in a seven-match ODI series in India and despite his own fine show, England are struggling after being comprehensively beaten in the first two matches.