England tour of India - Cricket: Tactics not negative, rains frustrating: Fletcher

Published: Sunday, December 23, 2001, 1:49 [IST]
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Bangalore: Even as his team continued to be criticised, both in India and in his own country, for adopting negative tactics in the third and final Test against India, England coach Duncan Fletcher on Saturday defended his side's strategy saying it had put them in a dominant position."We were 98 runs ahead in the first innings and have now put up 33 in the second. We are in a dominating position. Anything wrong with that?" Fletcher said while talking to reporters after the rain-truncated fourth day's play. He said consistently bowling outside the leg-stump was a matter of strategy and had yielded results."Do you just bowl throw-downs on a flat wicket and let him (Sachin Tendulkar) score... or do you come up with a plan?" Fletcher said the man under fire, left-arm spinner Ashley Giles, had actually succeeded in having Tendulkar stumped for the first time in his Test career that has spanned 143 innings.Expressing satisfaction with his team's performance, Fletcher said the improvement was evident in the Ahmedabad Test itself but many had considered it a 'fly-by-night' performance. "But we have proved in this Test that the team has some depth. I think we played well on all four days of this match," he said. But he was very disappointed with the rain interruptions, which had severely dented England's hopes of winning the match to square the series 1-1. "It was very frustrating," he said. PTI

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