Monday, March 27, 2006

Flintoff says momentum is the key

First one-day international, Delhi: India v England
Play starts Tuesday 0430 BST

England captain Andrew Flintoff wants to carry the momentum of the Mumbai Test victory into the seven-match one-day campaign against India.

Flintoff is back from a dash to England to meet newborn son Corey for the first time, and will lead the tourists in the first match in Delhi on Tuesday.

"It is very satisfying winning cricket matches out here," he said.

"The Test series was a great chance for some new players to make a start, and the one-dayers should be the same."

The continued absence of key players Marcus Trescothick and Ashley Giles will make India warm favourites for the series.

India have a good record in recent one-day internationals, and Flintoff noted: "They play to entertain and come out playing shots.

"Virender Sehwag at the top of the order comes out swinging and they have a lot of experience in their ranks."

It's just possible spin won't come into the equation so much
Paul Collingwood

England won their last one-day international in Delhi en route to a 3-3 series result, with Giles taking five wickets in that match.

England's spin options this time are the uncelebrated pair of Somerset all-rounder Ian Blackwell and Worcestershire's Gareth Batty.

But Durham all-rounder Paul Collingwood said the pitch might suit the fast bowlers more.

Collingwood said in his BBC column: "The practice nets are very close to the playing wicket and when we played on them on Monday the bowlers got a lot of carry.

"It's just possible spin won't come into the equation so much."

In his autobiography, Flintoff - the subject of plenty of abuse by Indian spectators in Mumbai - claims he was shot at by a fan while fielding in Delhi in 2001.

He said: "It is not something I am anticipating again.

"It is something that happened - but not something I want to go on about.

"We have seven one-dayers in front of full houses in India - that is something to look forward to."

For India, Sehwag has passed a fitness test on his back and is a confirmed starter.

India (from): V Sehwag, G Gambhir, R Dravid (captain), Y Singh, M Kaif, S Raina, M Dhoni (wkt), I Pathan, V Rao, M Patel, S Sreesanth, H Singh, A Agarkar, R Powar, RP Singh.

England (from): A Flintoff (capt), K Ali, J Anderson, G Batty, I Bell, I Blackwell, P Collingwood, M Hoggard, G Jones (wkt), S Mahmood, K Pietersen, L Plunkett, M Prior (wkt), O Shah, V Solanki, A Strauss.


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