Rediff News
All News
News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp  » Sports » Dravid is a great example: Flintoff

Dravid is a great example: Flintoff

By Harish Kotian in Mumbai
March 16, 2006 20:40 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

England captain Andrew Flintoff paid rich tributes to Indian counterpart Rahul Dravid, saying he is a great example of how to play.

"His nickname is 'The Wall'. He does take some getting past, doesn't he? He is a great example of how to play. And the tempo of his innings, he doesn't change at all. He loves batting and goes on and on," Flintoff said in Mumbai on Thursday.

Dravid will appear in his 100th Test on Saturday, when he takes the field for the third Test against England in Mumbai. He will become the sixth Indian player to appear in 100 Tests or more.

"It will be nice to nick him out for a low score. He averages 58 and you don't do that if you are not as good as he is. We have to preserve and get past the big bat of his," said Flintoff.

England, already depleted by injuries, have another major worry after fast bowler Steve Harmison missed practice on Thursday due to an injury.

"Harmison has got a sore right shin. He has gone to get it investigated, to get a X-ray on it."

Flintoff, however, added that Harmison has not yet been ruled of the Test and his condition will only be known tomorrow.

"At this stage he is not ruled out of the Test. He has still got a chance and we will probably know more tomorrow. If we don't have a player like Harmison, it's a blow.

"We will probably know more about Harmy in the next 12-24 hours. At this stage we will have to wait to see what comes out of the investigation.

"Then we will speak to the doctors and, hopefully, tomorrow we will get a better indication of what his condition is," Flintoff said.

The England captain also said that they could go in with two spinners, but a decision would be made only after having a look at the wicket on Friday.

"The pitch is quite wet today. It's been watered. We would be looking to post a decent score in the first innings. We have the option to go in with two spinners. But we will need to assess the pitch tomorrow. History says spin works in Mumbai."

Flintoff said his young side performed exceptionally well in the two Tests so far and would be looking to level the Test series in Mumbai.

"We want to win the Mumbai Test; it is a must-win game for us to level the series. It would be a massive achievement if we could beat the Indian team.

"In the last two Tests we have shown signs that we could it. We just need to get our act together over all five days," he added.

England enjoyed the upper hand in the first and second Tests before handing the initiative to India, something Flintoff feels the team should try and avoid.

"I think for five days we need to get it right, to come together and show the same enthusiasm and character and the ability that we have done in patches over the last two Tests," he said.

Flintoff said his batsmen must look to play a big innings and not throw their wickets away after a good start.

"To compete you need a big score in the first innings and that means a hundred from one of our batsmen. In the last Test we got starts; it will be nice if someone can go on and make a big 100 and get us past 400."

Sachin Tendulkar will surpass Kapil Dev as the most capped Indian Test player, with 132 appearances, in the third Test against England in Mumbai. He is struggling to get going in the series, but Flintoff believes a big knock is just around the corner.

"He's got 30-odd Test hundreds and a hell lots of runs. I don't see him as a lesser batsman than before. So far we have been lucky to keep him quiet. But with somebody like Sachin, there is always a big score around the corner," he said.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Harish Kotian in Mumbai

IPL 2022

IPL 2022