Flintoff concedes victory is unlikely

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The Independent Online

Andrew Flintoff admits England's chances of levelling the Test series against India are fading.

India will take a lead of 285 runs into the final day of the second Test, with six second-innings wickets standing, after reaching 134 for four in their second innings.

England collapsed from 282 for six at the start of play to 302 all out, and then saw India patiently build on their first-innings lead before Yuvraj Singh hit a quick-fire 39 not out in the closing stages.

"I think it will be hard for us to force a result from here," Flintoff told Sky Sports 1.

He and Kevin Pietersen had led an England fightback on day three, with Flintoff making a half-century and the captain a brilliant hundred, but when both fell before the end of play it put India back in control.

"Losing myself and Kevin last night was a big loss for us and we lost wickets this morning," Flintoff said.

"All we could do was come out with the new ball, try to take some early wickets, and try to have a magic session."

England could not make the breakthroughs they hoped for, and it will require a tremendous effort with the ball tomorrow morning to give the tourists any chance of forcing a victory.

They fly home on Christmas Eve, and Flintoff knows they will struggle to avoid a series defeat.

"We'll have to see what happens tomorrow," said Flintoff.

"If there's fog in the morning and bad light at night I don't think there'll be too much for both sides.

"It's going to be difficult to chase anything down, especially if we lose overs in the morning as well.

"To get a result from here, we're going to have to do something pretty special.

"You don't want to be chasing anything more than four and a half (runs) an over, do you?"