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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 October 2006, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
England victory pleases Flintoff
Andrew Flintoff
Flintoff averages 34 with the bat in one-day matches for England
Skipper Andrew Flintoff was satisfied with England's 144-run defeat of Rajasthan on Thursday in their warm-up for the ICC Champions Trophy.

Flintoff said the match was "good practice" for England's first Trophy game against India on Sunday.

"The batters spent time in the middle and the bowlers got miles in their legs which is important," Flintoff said.

Following ankle surgery, it was his first England match since June. "You realise how much you miss it," he said.

The captain batted at number three, with Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell opening the innings, but insisted that was not a definite system for the Champions Trophy.

"With the depth of batting we've got there are all sorts of ways we can use the order," he said.

"We'll discuss where the best place to bat is, not just for myself, but for the rest of the lads."

I've bowled at about 70% and had no ill effects and I'm going to build it up over the next few weeks

Andrew Flintoff

Two of the main performers in the opening match were slow bowling all-rounders Jamie Dalrymple and Michael Yardy, who both took wickets and scored quick, valuable runs.

"They have made an impression straight away," Flintoff enthused.

"It's nice to have players who give you depth, hopefully they can keep improving because I hope they will become important members of our team."

Following a sedate atmosphere in front of a sparse crowd in Jaipur, a very different proposition awaits England when they take on hosts India in the first match of the tournament proper at the city's main venue on Sunday.

"I don't think it's something to be intimidated by. We've played in India before and to play in front of big crowds is the reason you play," said the captain.

"Some of our lads haven't experienced 80-90,000 but I'm sure they'll rise to it and enjoy it.

"We've shown on our day we can beat anyone. The one thing we've lacked is consistency, which hopefully we can show over the next few months.

"To come back and draw 2-2 against Pakistan was a fantastic effort when everyone was writing England off."

The skipper did not disclose whether he would change his initial policy of playing as a batsman only in this tournament.

"I've bowled in the nets and I'm quite pleased with where I'm at," he said. "I've been at about 70% and had no ill effects and I'm going to build it up over the next few weeks.

"We'll see over the next week or two."

SEE ALSO
England photos
12 Oct 06 |  Cricket
Giles on course for Ashes series
10 Oct 06 |  England
ICC Champions Trophy 2006
08 Oct 06 |  Future tour dates


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