Flintoff up for tense showdown

Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff is ready for the Australian challenge

England captain Andrew Flintoff is expecting his first captaincy experience against Australia to be intense while opposite number Ricky Ponting says the two teams are “champing at the bit.”

Flintoff, 28, leads the Ashes defence this winter and gets a first chance to lock horns with Ponting in the ICC Champions Trophy clash at Jaipur on Saturday in a Group A match neither can afford to lose.

“I am going to captain in the style I have done, it is something I have enjoyed doing in my time so far,” said Flintoff.

Andrew Flintoff

Flintoff knows England need to perform against Australia

“It is going to be a tough game, we are playing against the best side in the world, they have some great players in their ranks and they play cricket hard.”

Australia captain Ponting, 31, said: “Both teams will be champing at the bit, it has been 13 months but it doesn't feel like it was that long ago.

“There will be a lot made of this having something to do with the Ashes or being able to take something away from it for the Ashes.

“I am not a big believer in that because there will be such a big changeover of players from side to side.

“Saying that, it is always a good contest when Australia and England play, so we are looking forward to it and are excited about it.”

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