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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 August 2005, 18:04 GMT 19:04 UK
Fletcher hits back in fielder row
Ricky Ponting
Ponting is beaten by sub Gary Pratt's superb pick up and direct hit
Coach Duncan Fletcher has given a forceful response to Ricky Ponting's attack on England's use of substitutes.

Ponting voiced objections to England's balcony when he made his way back to the pavilion after being run out by Gary Pratt, on for injured Simon Jones.

"Jones was off, he was looking after a sore ankle and I don't think we could have gone on with 10," Fletcher said.

"Those were the circumstances, if you want to take a run to the cover fielder and get run out, whose fault is that?"

Fletcher was quick to dismiss any suggestion that England have been contravening laws by their regular use of replacement fielders during the one-day internationals and Tests this summer.

"Guys go off to excuse themselves, nature calls and that's how it goes," said Fletcher, who added that the umpires had not spoken to him about the situation.

Explaining the reasons behind England's decision to enforce the follow-on, he said: "We felt we had a little bit of momentum going and that there was a psychological effect, we were bowling well and were up on the Aussies and it was a good position to put them in again.

"To get nine Aussie wickets in a day is a really good effort.

"I thought we bowled well this morning and this afternoon the wicket was holding up quite nicely and we knew it wasn't going to be easy, but the guys stuck in there."

England still have to take six wickets and are now only 37 runs ahead, but Fletcher refused to be drawn on what sort of total may trouble them if Australia's batsmen continue to dig in.

"We haven't really assessed that at this stage," he said. "We're hoping to knock them over pretty early and take it from there."

Fletcher was also asked about Michael Vaughan's preference for boundary fielders and he said: "It depends on the situation, that's what makes him such a good captain, he's very, very good in his field placings.

"He's still a relatively young captain but he shows real imagination and his fields are well thought out, it just depends, sometimes you have to stop the fours, sometimes you can let them go by."




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Interview: England coach Duncan Fletcher



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