I never had childhood heroes. No one that really stands out. Then last year Freddie stepped up, with the black marker pen on his scalp, his arms outstretched, that 'tongue out' nod. That 34 over spell split over two days, at the Oval, in which he took 5 for 78. The handshake with Brett Lee. That over to take both Langer and Ponting down and leave Oz at 48 for 2. The 102 at Trent Bridge. The 73 at Edgbaston. The man was a god. Bacchus to be precise. While Vaughan set the odd fields and psyched the ozzies out, Flintoff just magnetised the team and the nation, the passion came flooding from him and went with him.
So why make him captain this time round? It is not possible for a man to be a more galvanising influence than Flintoff already is. He can't gee the players up more, make them more up for it than he does, so why make him think about it. His form can only be adversely affected with the captaincy around his neck.
Give it to Strauss, he's proved he can play the big innings whilst captaining the side. He may not be the tactical genius Vaughan quite patently is, but he has captain written all over him.
I can't help thinking they've made the wrong decision.