England may play with two spinners: Flintoff

Published: Thursday, March 16, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:England captain Andrew Flintoff today hinted that his team could go with two spinners in the third and final Test against India, beginning on March 18 at the Wankhede stadium here.

Speaking to reporters today, Flintoff said the option of playing two spinners was very much open, but a final decision would be taken only after assessing the pitch.

''Today, the pitch is still wet with a lot of watering going on and we will be able to get a better picture only by tomorrow afternoon,'' Flintoff, who took over the reins of the England team after their regular captain Michael Vaughan pulled out due to injury, said.

''Traditionally, this wicket is known to take spin and we will base our decision after looking at all aspects.'' Flintoff once again reiterated that their batsmen will have to come good in the final Test if they stand any chance of squaring the series.

''Our batsmen have been getting the 50s and 60s but here in India that is just not enough. We need some one like Collingwood in the first Test to kick on and get a hundred. That was the difference in the first Test between a draw and a loss for us'', he added.

The Lancashire all rounder also said his team should take some tips from the way Rahul Dravid batted in this series. ''He has really lived up to his nickname 'The Wall' in the two Test matches played so far.

''Here you need to show patience and settle down and pace your game like Dravid has done and we have failed to do'', he said.

Flintoff also praised little master Sachin Tendulkar, rubbishing theories that he may be past his prime. ''A guy like Sachin who has scored 35 Test hundreds and loads and loads of runs is always a threat.''

''We have been able to get him out without too many runs to his name, but with Sachin a big score is always round the corner and we have to be wary about that.'' Speaking about the sweep shot employed by a lot of English players against the Indian spinners, Flintoff said that it was an individual thing.

''We are practicing hard and if a player is confident of playing it, I do not think there is any problem, just because a couple of players have been dismissed playing that shot.'' Flintoff also said the team spirit was still very high and in no way the boys were feeling down.

''The atmosphere in the squad has been fantastic to come here without four of your main players, this young side has shown the guts to go and fight it out and that has been very encouraging.'' He further praised his young squad, saying that overall this team has done well and competed hard. The effort that the team as a whole has put in, I do not believe we deserve to go back home with a series loss.

''If we manage to square the series here, which we believe we can do, it would be a fantastic achievement,'' Flintoff said.

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