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Flintoff to lead debutants against Men in Blue

Published: Monday, February 27, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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New Delhi:Andrew Flintoff's first stint as the captain of England team promises to be a torrid one as he prepares to lead a side, which has never played against India.

His own susceptibility to leg spinner Anil Kumble and offie Harbhajan Singh is likely to make the stand-in captain's job of handling the team in the absence of Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick, the other two than him to have played against the Indians, all the more difficult.

Flintoff will go into the match starting March 1 in Nagpur with a surprising record of five dismissals for a total of just 34 runs and an average of less than seven against the Indian spin duo, according to Cricinfo.

The spinners, who are a lethal combo on the dead tracks here, have taken 53 wickets against England at home, with the leg spinner leading the way with 40 in six Tests at 21.40. Harbhajan has 13 wickets at 24.53 each.

However, the visitors can take heart from the fact that the relatively unsung Matthew Hoggard has a solid record against India and has taken nine wickets at 31.22 on the last tour.

In contrast, Flintoff hasn't enjoyed Test success against any of India's big three, bowling 567 deliveries to Tendulkar, Dravid and Sehwag, at a cost of 217 runs but no wickets.

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