London:Former India captain Sourav Ganguly feels England could have prolonged Andrew Flintoff's Test career by balancing his batting and bowling and thinks the all-rounder's injury woes were because of his frail physique and not excessive cricket.
"I always said England needed to balance his bowling with his batting if they wanted him to survive longer in Test cricket," Ganguly said.
"He's a big boy and injuries are part and parcel of sport, but there are other fast bowlers around the world who are running in and keep playing and doing well in Test matches. I think it's more about Freddie Flintoff's body than the rigours of international cricket," Ganguly was quoted as saying by 'The Guardian'.
Ganguly shared a cold relationship with Flintoff during their days together at Lancashire and it worsened in 2002 when Flintoff's shirt-swirling antics in Mumbai infuriated the Indian.
However, he was effusive in his praise of Flintoff and described the England player as his team's best bowler and said his retirement was a big loss for the country. "It's a big loss for England... With England, every time they are under pressure it is Freddie with the ball because he is their best bowler," he said.
Flintoff said he will retire from Test cricket at the end of the Ashes series against Australia after yet another knee injury made him a doubtful starter for Thursday's second Test. Flintoff will, however, continue to play in one-dayers and Twenty20 matches.
"Two of the last four years I've spent just in rehabilitation and I just can't keep doing it for myself, my own sanity, my family and also for the team, because they need to move on as well," he said.