Flintoff up for Aussies

Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff

Captain Andrew Flintoff immediately turned his attention to beating Australia after poor batting cost England against India.

England were bowled out for just 125 in their ICC Champions Trophy opener in Jaipur after being inserted on a two-paced surface.

India did lose six wickets in reply but the nature of their victory was comfortable and England must now beat Ashes rivals Australia on Saturday to have hope of progressing from Group A.

Flintoff said: “It is only one game, we are still in the tournament, we are not disillusioned by any stretch of the imagination.

Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff and England must now look forward

“We will learn from this and come back stronger. There is a week now to reflect on our next game and go forward.”

Flintoff’s 100th cap for his country began badly as England were left reeling at 27 for four by man of the match Munaf Patel and his new-ball partner Irfan Pathan.

Then, faced with such a modest target, India were given breathing space as Steve Harmison’s opening over cost 20 runs.

“We started badly with both bat and ball but it’s the first game, we have two left and we know exactly what we have to do now,” Flintoff added.

“If we had got up to 160 or 170 we were in the game but as it turned out we did compete with 125 and I was pleased with the character we showed.

“We came back into the game and managed to take some wickets, which gave us a glimmer of hope but another 30 or 40 runs and it could have ended in a different story.”

Flintoff was dismissed for a duck, batting at number three, and half his side were back in the dressing room inside the first 20 overs as Patel and Pathan made merry.

“They put the ball in good areas, exploited a little bit of uneven bounce at times but they swung the ball too and asked questions of the batsmen,” Flintoff said. “On the day we were not quite up to it.”

Opposite number Rahul Dravid was irritated by the loss of late wickets which distorted the winning margin.

“We lost a couple of unnecessary wickets at the end - and we can play much better than we did - but it was good to start the tournament with a win,” said Dravid.

“We took a bit of a gamble with the toss and needed a big performance from the bowlers - and they delivered.”

Although Paul Collingwood and Jamie Dalrymple threatened to build a more challenging total, recalled off-spinner Ramesh Powar dismissed them both in his three-wicket haul.

“He was the one who gave England problems last time and on these wickets he is quite a handful,” said Dravid.

Lancashire fast bowler James Anderson impressed on his recall following a stress fracture of the back.

Anderson dismissed Pathan and Dravid in the same over to provide some respectability to proceedings and Sachin Tendulkar was accounted for by Harmison before the Indians reached three figures.

Off-spinner Dalrymple then copied Anderson’s double strike in the space of a handful of deliveries to put an edge on the result that flattered England.

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