The boys showed great character, says Flintoff

Published: Monday, March 6, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Nagpur:England captain Andrew Flintoff today said for a team, which was given no chance against a strong Indian side, he was proud of his boys' performance in the first test.

Speaking to reporters after India managed to force a draw by batting through the last day, Flintoff said.

"The way our preparation for this match was, with the senior players falling down to injuries and the adversity that we faced, the way we stood up and showed what this team was about is a real proud moment for me in my first Test as a captain.''

Flintoff, however admitted that he felt a bit concerned after the Indian batters decided to take on the England bowlers after tea and try for a win, especially with the hosts having in them the explosive Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the great man Sachin Tendulkar himself.

But, the visitors captain added that he knew this would also open the game up for England and give them chances to make inroads into the Indian batting line-up.

The burly all-rounder also praised two of the debutants in this match saying that the way Alastair Cook played was phenomenal.

''Reaching the match venue just a few days back and then going out and facing two of the best spinners in the world was fabulous. It looked as if he was not making his debut but rather playing his 100th match,'' Flintoff added.

Flintoff praised Monty Panesar, saying he just wants to go out there and perform. ''He wants to perform for England and that is important.'' He also thanked the senior players like Strauss, Harmison and Collingwood for being around him and helping him with ideas and other things throughout the match.

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