England arrived with confidence: Fletcher

Published: Tuesday, March 7, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Chandigarh:Despite missing a number of key players, including regular captain Michael Vaughan, the English team is upbeat after dominating major part of the first Test and coach Duncan Fletcher said his team has arrived here for the second match against India with the confidence gained in Nagpur.

On arrival from Nagpur, Fletcher said his players were ''pretty confident'' ahead of the second Test to be played at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium here from March 9.

Talking to waiting newsmen at a city hotel yesterday, he said the morale of the team was high after their performance in the Nagpur Test which ended in a draw.

''I am pleased with the application of the England players at Nagpur and the boys are confident for the Mohali Test,'' he said.

The young players, Alastair Cook and Monty Panesar, were outstanding at Nagpur along with Ian Backwell, complimented the coach.

Twenty one-year-old Cook contributed 60 runs in the first innings and slammed 104 in the second innings in his debut Test in Nagpur.

Monty, whose grandparents belong to Ludhiana, also showed lot of promise in the match.

The England side has been put on the backfoot after injury forced Vaughan and Simon Jones to leave for home even before the Baroda practice match while Marcus Trescothick also left due to ''personal reasons".

Fletcher, however, seemed ready to live without them and putting up a brave face, he said, ''We have recovered from this setback.'' Saying that his side has learnt from the series defeat in Pakistan, Fletcher explained, ''Concentration for long periods was missing among the players in Pakistan.

But we have worked on the shortcomings noticed during the Pakistan tour. Now the England players are more focused on cricket and their morale is high after the Nagpur performance.'' The England team will go the PCA Stadium tomorrow morning for net practice.

Meanwhile, Indian captain Rahul Dravid did not interact with the media and said, ''We will talk tomorrow after the practice session.'' Dravid, along with coach Greg Chappell, went to the PCA Stadium to inspect the track. Chappell and other members of the Indian team also did not talk to the mediapersons at the hotel.

Spinner Anil Kumble did not come with the team and he will join the squad tomorrow.

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