Fletcher advises Englishmen to be selective

Published: Thursday, March 30, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Chucking the sweep shot out of the batsman's book is not a feasible idea but Andrew Flintoff's men will have to be careful about their shot selection, opined coach Duncan Fletcher.

Talking to reporters after the team's net session at the Ferozeshah Kotla here today, Fletcher said, ''There's nothing wrong in playing sweep shots but you need discretion at times.

At the end of the day, you have to be selective about your shots.

And you have to be sure about your decision making as well.'' ''Like you play the drive well and they have five fielders from mid off to backward point and you still play the drive. It's as simple as that. Now Rahul Dravid is a great player for he is so selective.'' Incidentally, at least four English batsmen got out while playing the sweep and slog sweep shots in the first match against India.

Fletcher also looked unhappy at the way captain Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen got out just when the team was cruising well to the rather achievable target of 204.

''It's upto them but on numerous occasions, they have played together. The more they learn to play together, the better it is for the side,'' he remarked.

England were going great guns at 116 for three but Pietersen's slog sweep off Harbhajan Singh was caught by Gautam Gambhir while Flintoff's attempted sweep in the next over brought his peril as he was trapped leg before and England lost their last seven wickets to be bowled out for 164.

Meanwhile, defending the decision to practise in Kotla here and not in the Nahar Singh Stadium in Faridabad, Fletcher said, ''It took me two and half an hours to reach there this morning and three hours 10 minutes to return. We did not want to make the players travel this much a day before a One-day international.''

On his take on the pitch in Faridabad, Fletcher said, ''I have seen the pitch and the one we would be playing on has no grass at all and looks pretty hard. So it's a slow wicket there.'' England's first overseas coach, Zimbabwean Fletcher was also of the opinion that lack of experience did his side in the Kotla match.

''We were caught napping with inexperience. This is a pretty young side and we are missing five players. But we are capable of playing better and the team is looking forward to tomorrow's match.'' He also said toss would be crucial.

''Toss is going to be very crucial for it can turn a game on its head,'' Fletcher added.

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