Lessons learnt from defeat
Andrew Flintoff believes England will come back stronger after losing their ICC Champions Trophy opener to India by four wickets.
Flintoff’s side were bowled out for just 125 in Jaipur but the captain was pleased with the bowling performance and remains confident looking ahead to the next game against Australia on Saturday.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Flintoff said: “We fought well towards the end, we never gave up.
“We started badly with bat and ball and we were always chasing the game but I was pleased with the character.
“I don’t think we can take anything away from them, Irfan (Pathan) and Munaf (Patel) bowled fantastic from the start. They put it in the right place and fair play to them.
“We have got to learn from today and sit down and talk about it, and come back stronger. We know what we have got to do now.
“We are pleased with the way we bowled and pegged them back towards the end.”
India batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who put his side on the way to victory with 35, felt the game could have been a lot closer if England had managed just a few more runs.
“It was a wonderful game for us,” he said. “Yes, I did get some time to spend in the middle, Munaf got some wickets and so did Harbhajan (Singh) and Ramesh (Powar), backed up by some good fielding.
“It was a good match and, with a little more total, it would have been a close game - it was an uneven pitch.
“I think anywhere from 175-200 would have been a very good total.”
India captain Rahul Dravid paid tribute to the efforts of his bowlers for setting up such a convincing win.
Patel was the star performer with 3-18 and was named man of the match.
Dravid said: “I think we lost a couple of wickets unnecessarily at the end, which is disappointing, but the boys played some good cricket today.
“We took a gamble to win the toss and bowl first. We knew we needed a good performance from the bowlers and they delivered.”