'We've done well to compete with India' says Flintoff
Tuesday 14 March 2006
Andrew Flintoff and Duncan Fletcher, England's captain and coach respectively, feel that the failure of the team's batsmen to turn good starts into hundreds was the principle reason for the second Test defeat.
"The match probably turned in our first innings," Flintoff said. "The scorecard shows that all our batsmen got in but we needed one of us to go on and post a large score. It would have been nice if one of us could have gone on and scored a big hundred."
Fletcher agreed with Flintoff. "It came down to our first innings," he said. "Our score of 300 was not enough to put pressure on them and that's an area we have to work on. But the crucial thing is that the batters don't put too much pressure on themselves. We must not harp on about it. Hopefully it will come right in Mumbai at the weekend."
Beating India at the spin-friendly Wankhede Stadium will be a big ask. The spinner Shaun Udal is likely to play as neither Ian Blackwell nor Liam Plunkett have made an impact.
Yesterday's defeat looks comprehensive on paper but England competed hard and Flintoff was full of praise for his side. "We are without our captain and three other leading players," he said. "We have got a young side who have come together collectively and we have done well to compete with India. We have a good chance [in Bombay] if we learn from our mistakes."
Kevin Pietersen was fined 30 per cent of his match fee - £1,650 - for showing dissent on Sunday after being given out caught.
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