Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has recalled an instance from the 2005 Ashes when Australia captain Ricky Ponting tried to sledge him and Kevin Pietersen, during their battle against Shane Warne in the Lord’s Test.
Featuring on the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast alongside Stephen Harmison, his teammate during the ’05 Ashes , Flintoff spoke about his 103-run stand with Kevin Pietersen in the second Test of the series, specifically about when the duo took on Shane Warne.
“I am not going to lie, I was batting with Kev, playing shots I had never played in my life before! I hit Shane Warne for a six off my legs. To this day I don’t know how I did it. [Playing against Warne] was frustrating, he was funny, he was brilliant. When you bat against him, you go through every emotion because I am fighting myself – ‘Don’t take Shane Warne on! Don’t play the man, just try to hit the ball.'”
Flintoff made two half-centuries at Edgbaston, earning the Player of the Match award as England secured a two-run win in what is regarded as one of the greatest Tests of all time. It marked quite a turnaround from the first Test, when Flintoff made 0 and 3, edging Warne behind in the second innings. His short stays at the crease were still long enough for Ponting to get in some psychological blows.
“In the first Test match, he got me out caught behind. I picked the flipper but it was a bit fuller than I thought and I tried to get it off the back foot.
“And I can never forget Ricky Ponting in the second innings sledging me,” Flintoff said. “I was stood there with Kevin Pietersen, he looks and he makes a joke to his team going ‘Here we go boys, look at the two superstars! They’re going to be happy with these two, aren’t they?'” And it’s like ‘Jog on, Rick! Jog on!’
“He made me feel that big, did Ricky Ponting!”