Smith wary of Flintoff
All-rounder's return would lift England, says South Africa captain
Last Updated: July 2, 2008 10:46am
Flintoff (left) and Smith shake hands at last year's World Twenty20
Graeme Smith admits South Africa fear the impact Andrew Flintoff could have during the upcoming four-Test series in England.
"He really gets them going over here in the United Kingdom."
Graeme Smith Quotes of the week
Flintoff recently returned to county action following six weeks out with a side strain but it remains far from certain he will be included on Thursday when England name their squad for the first Test, which starts at Lord's on July 10.
The Lancashire all-rounder, who has been in poor form with the bat all summer, underwent a fourth ankle operation last autumn and has not played Test cricket since January 2007 in Sydney.
Proteas coach Mickey Arthur is expecting England to recall Flintoff, a player who is greatly admired by the tourists' skipper Smith.
"We all know about Fred's (Flintoff) performances with the ball when he is fit," said Smith.
"You only have to look at the Ashes series here a few years ago and the role he played in that.
"I think he is a character who really gets people motivated and his own performance is always up and the crowds love him.
"He really gets them going over here in the United Kingdom. That is the challenge that we have to face."
Smith believes England will face a selection poser if they decide to pick Flintoff, while in contrast he can see a settled look about the South African squad.
"England have got interesting tactical challenges," he added. "If Freddy comes in, do they leave out a batter, do they play him as a bowler?
"We are sitting here waiting to see where they will go. Are they going to bring back a few of the old brigade or leave the youngsters in there?
"These are the questions we are waiting to see when they select their team.
"If I think (back) to the last series with England when they arrived in South Africa, they were a very settled outfit who had won a lot of Test matches together.
"Everyone knew their role in that environment and we have come here in that position with all the players we want to be involved and having had success behind us."