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  Sunday, 3 February, 2002, 19:52 GMT
Hussain lauds England progress
Andrew Flintoff took off his shirt to celebrate after bowling out India's last man
Fintoff is congratulated by his team-mates after the win
England captain Nasser Hussain has praised the progress made by his team after tying the one-day series in India.

Click here for scorecard

Andrew Flintoff played a starring role as England took a dramatic last-over win in Bombay on Sunday to draw the series three-all.

The all-rounder played a vital role with both the bat and the ball, including taking the two final Indian wickets.


Some of the young lads have really come on in the last few months
Nasser Hussain

Hussain was delighted at the way England bounced back from their hammering at Kanpur just over a week ago to claim narrow victories in Delhi and Bombay.

He paid particular tribute to Flintoff.

"Fred's got a lot of character. He's put in a lot of effort off the field in the last year or so and it's now beginning to pay dividends for him," Hussain said.

"Getting a 3-3 draw is not worth going over the top about, but we have just won eight out of the last 11 matches and we are going in the right direction.

"Some of the young lads like Flintoff and Paul Collingwood have really come on during the last few months, our fielding has improved and in tight situations we have improved."

"The great thing is that there are other people who can come back into this squad like Alan Mullally, Mark Ealham and Alec Stewart. There are lots of people pushing for places."

Perfect yorker

Flintoff described the five-run victory as "the best match I've ever played in" after a thrilling final over.

Flintoff pushed England's total to 255 with 40 from 50 balls. Then, with India needing 10 runs for victory with two wickets in hand, he was entrusted with bowling the final over.

He ran out Anil Kumble off the fourth ball, and then dismissed last man Javagal Srinath with a perfect yorker off the next.

He ran down the wicket twirling his shirt around his head in football style in celebration.


This result is absolutely awesome
Andrew Flintoff

Flintoff said: "To have it go down to the final over with a big crowd like that was just awesome.

"Taking my shirt off and running around like that wasn't rehearsed, it was completely instinctive and nothing to do with football because I'm not a big football fan.

"The footballers who have done it are probably carrying a few less pounds than me anyway.

"It's something I'll probably live to regret because I'm sure I'll get a lot of stick for it, so it's just as well we're going to New Zealand tonight rather than going home."

Flintoff was particularly pleased with the trust Hussain showed in him as it marked the progress he has made in the last year.

He had feared a long-standing back problem would force him to concentrate on his batting.

'Belief'

"I don't think St Anne's first team would have trusted me with the final over a year ago, let along England," he joked.

"This result is absolutely awesome.

"When I walked out to bat we were in a position where we just needed to consolidate.

"But Darren Gough helped me add a few and after the position we were in, I don't think 255 was such a bad score.

"I don't think we ever gave up hope when (Saurav) Ganguly was in and going well, and after the way we took the last game, there was always a belief we could perhaps do it again."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
England captain Nasser Hussain
"I was pleased with the team's fight and character"
News and features on England's tour to India

One-day series

Correspondents

Test Series

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Links to more England in India stories are at the foot of the page.


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