London:Andrew Flintoff's announcement to retire from Test cricket has surprised Australia captain Ricky Ponting but the visitors do not believe they now need to make any special plan to tackle the burly England all-rounder in the rest of the Ashes series.
"We're a little bit surprised to tell you the truth. I guess we're all just a bit eager now to see what happens with him on Thursday - if he's fit to play in the game," Ponting said.
On being asked about the Flintoff's choice of timing to call it quits, Ponting said,"It depends how bad his injury is, I guess. If his injury is significant then it's probably not a bad time. If he's been thinking about it for a while it probably is a little bit surprising it's come on the eve of the second Test match."
Ponting also said that he does not see any need to lay more emphasis on handling Flintoff, whom he believe his side has sorted out well.
"No extra than last week. We know how big a figure he is in the England team. I think you could even see that last week with his first spell back in the Test side - the whole ground sort of lifted, it changed the real feel around the ground last week.
"I thought we did a good job. We played him very well last week whether it was with the ball when he was bowling or when we had a chance to bowl to him," he said.
Ponting did not forget to hail the spirit with which Flintoff played the game, specially the Ashes encounters.
"He's been a great figure in the game. The way he's gone about his cricket, the way he's played the game and how much he's enjoyed the battle - probably particularly in Ashes cricket - is something that's been very fun to be a part of for me," he was quoted as saying by the Guardian.