Former India captain Sourav Ganguly believes England's reliance on Andrew Flintoff caused the all-rounder to call a premature end to his Test career.

Flintoff announced on Wednesday that he will retire from Test cricket at the end of the current npower Ashes series, claiming his constant battle with injuries had finally taken its toll.

The 31-year-old's career has been undermined by injury in recent years and his decision comes as he looks to prove his fitness for the second Test which begins at Lord's on Thursday.

Flintoff suffered a recurrence of the knee injury that required surgery earlier this year during the first Test in Cardiff, when he was forced to toil for 35 overs as Australia's amassed a massive first-innings 674 for six declared.

Ganguly reckons England have failed to manage their star all-rounder's workload during his 76-Test career, saying he would have played on longer but for their over-reliance on his match-winning abilities.

"It's a big loss for England. I always said England needed to balance his bowling with his batting if they wanted him to survive longer in Test cricket," he told Press Association Sport.

"With England, every time they are under pressure it is Freddie with the ball because he is their best bowler.

"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 this has a lot to do with Freddie's body and at the end of the day he had to make a call on which version of the game he wants to play the most."

Ganguly dismissed the notion Flintoff's Test retirement had been fast-tracked by the growing demands placed on international cricketers by a busy schedule, reiterating his belief Flintoff had simply been over-bowled.

He said: "I think it more about Freddie Flintoff's body than the rigours of international cricket. To be honest it's the amount of bowling he does for England."

Ganguly, a former team-mate of Flintoff's at Lancashire, announced his decision to retire from Test cricket last year ahead of India's Test series against Australia.

The 37-year-old, who played 113 Tests for his country, said the decision had lifted the pressure off his shoulders going into that series, which India won 2-0, and warned Australia that could inspire Flintoff as he seeks to go out on a high.

"You enjoy every day of Test cricket because you know it's going to be your last," he added.

"You don't have any pressures on because you know you don't have selection issues to worry about after the series.

"You also play with a lot more freedom and with Freddie that is probably when he plays at this best."