No need to press panic button, says Flintoff

Published: Monday, October 16, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Jaipur:England skipper Andrew Flintoff said there was no need to panic after his team's four-wicket defeat against India in the opening Group-A match of the Champions Trophy tournament here.

"It is the first game and we are still in the competition. We have two more matches left and we know exactly what we need to do. We can learn from today (yesterday) and come back stronger in the remaining games," said Flintoff.

England play world champions Australia in the next match here on Saturday and the West Indies at Ahmedabad on October 28. The top two sides will advance to the semi-finals.

"We have got a week now before our next game. We can reflect on this one and then look forward to Saturday's fixture. Australia are a fine side and we have to concentrate in the middle," the England skipper said.

Flintoff said his team were in the game on Sunday despite recording their lowest-ever total of 125 against India. England then bagged six wickets to make the hosts struggle to reach a modest target on a slow pitch.

"I think if we have got 160 or 170 we were in the game, but it turned out to be only 125. We even competed with it. I am pleased with the character we showed," he said.

"We came back into the match after we took quick wickets, but another 30 or 40 runs would have made a different story. It was a tricky track and I think both sides showed so. I think 160 or 170 could have been a par score."

The England captain was all praise for Indian seamers Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan, who shared the first five wickets to set up their team's victory.

"They were asking questions from the batsmen all the time. Irfan swung it and Patel put it in the right areas too," said Flintoff, who fell for a duck after coming in to bat at number three.

"I am happy to bat at number three today (yesterday), but it did not come off. That can happen. The opening spells from Irfan and Patel were fine as they exploited the wicket and put the ball in right areas."

India captain Rahul Dravid said his team were indebted to the seamers for making a winning start.

"Our bowling was exceptional. We needed a big performance from our bowlers and luckily we got it when we decided to bowl first. On a low, slow wicket like this, it is important to get a flying start," said Dravid.

The Indian captain said the batsmen could have done better chasing a modest target under lights.

"We lost a couple of wickets too many in the end. I hope we all do well in the remaining two matches. We will be able to bat better and it is a good chance for guys to go back and practice during a long break," he said.

"It is important to make a winning start. There are lot of positives in this game, especially our bowling and fielding."


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