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Last Updated: Monday, 3 April 2006, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
Flintoff ponders bowling changes
Andrew Flintoff and his fellow seam bowlers struggled in Goa
Flintoff and his fellow seam bowlers struggled in Goa
Captain Andrew Flintoff admits England might consider playing an extra spinner in game four of the one-day series after they went 3-0 down to India.

The hosts piled up 294 on a slow pitch in Goa to win by 49 runs and take control of the seven-match series.

"We will have to look at it if we think the wicket is going to play spin.

"The four seamers have been successful in Test matches and have bowled well so far but maybe in Cochin we will have a look at that," Flintoff explained.

The tourists have been hit by illness and injury all winter and suffered another blow when in-form batsman Kevin Pietersen was ruled out of the Goa game with a stomach bug.

But despite the tough schedule and the problems his team have had, Flintoff refused to make excuses and believes the series is far from dead.

"It wasn't perfect preparation losing Kevin, and Matthew Hoggard was also ill, but we came here with a side," the Lancashire all-rounder added.

"It was hot out here and the ball was bobbling about a little bit but we have four matches to play and we can still get back into this series.

"We can't think about being tired just yet - we have four games to play, four games we must win."

Flintoff was out attempting a slog-sweep and was caught at deep midwicket.

"The rate was creeping up and I wanted to take the aggressive route but I just dragged it down," said Flintoff. "What I was thinking when I did it is probably not appropriate to repeat.

I've been batting well for the last six months and been in good touch
Yuvraj Singh

India's big total was largely down to the brilliance of Yuvraj Singh, who smashed three sixes in his 103 off only 76 balls.

The left-hander struggled in the last two Tests and opening one-dayers against England but announced his return to form in style.

"I knew I was hitting the ball well, it was just a matter of spending time at the wicket and getting my dues," he explained.

"I've been batting well for the last six months and been in good touch. I just wanted to be positive and hit the ball straight.

"It's one of my best centuries because it came in 76 balls on such a wicket - it was a special knock."

Everyone on the team has been contributing and we have some good momentum
Rahul Dravid

Yuvraj lifted his team after the top-order, particularly Virender Sehwag and Mohammad Kaif, failed once again.

But captain Rahul Dravid said: "They are good quality players and I expect them to fire in this series.

"It's not always easy in a long season to keep going and there are going to be one or two who might be out of form.

"But the quality of a team is to respond to that, and for other people to play good cricket, and that's what we've been doing.

"Everyone on the team has been contributing, we have some good momentum going and we're winning from difficult situations."

Uncapped wicket-keeper Robin Uthappa has been called into the India squad in place of Gautam Gambhir for the last four games.

The 20-year-old Uthappa has been a prolific scorer in domestic cricket.

Indian board secretary Niranjan Shah said the same squad would play the two one-dayers against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on 18 and 19 April.

"If we win the series and we think some players have to be rested then we may consider other names also," he added.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: England captain Andrew Flintoff



ENGLAND SQUAD GUIDE
 

INDIA SQUAD GUIDE
 

SEE ALSO
India grounds profiled
13 Feb 06 |  Cricket
England in India 2006
08 Dec 05 |  Future tour dates


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