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We will bounce back in Mumbai: Flintoff

India should prepare themselves for a backlash from England in the third and final Test, warned skipper Andrew Flintoff.

india Updated: Mar 13, 2006 19:46 IST

India should prepare themselves for a backlash from England in the third and final Test in Mumbai, with skipper Andrew Flintoff today backing his young side to come down hard on the hosts in the series-decider.

Flintoff said despite losing the second match by nine wickets here, his team had shown that it was capable of giving a scare or two to the hosts.

"We have shown signs in this game that we can compete with India. We have to go to Mumbai next week and rally around. We will have to show our quality, that this side scrapped, this side fights hard. And every quality we have will come to the party next week," the stand-in skipper told a post-match press conference.

Reflecting on the defeat, he said probably the batsmen should take the blame for not standing up to the challenge in the match.

"Probably in the first innings, if you see the scorecard, a lot of us got a start, we needed one of us to go on and get a large score. The seamers were running in all day. It's probably the batting. It would have been nice if one of us had gone on to score a big hundred," he said.

Flintoff was expecting his side to regroup for the Mumbai Test, beginning on March 18, by learning from the mistakes that they made here.

"After losing five wickets yesterday, it was tough to come back from that position. Although by no means impossible with myself and Jones at the crease, we always thought we could put a few runs. But it didn't happen."

However, Flintoff gave credit to his young side to have competed well both in Nagpur and here.

"We have lost the captain, Ashley Giles, Marcus Trescothick and Simon Jones, we have got a young side. I think we have done well to compete in India.

"Last week in Nagpur, as well as in this game we have shown signs that we can compete with the best sides in the world. I think this is a good young side.

"We are improving. We are going to Mumbai next week. We are going to learn from the mistakes and improve our performance."

Asked whether England were taken in by surprise by the manner in which Munaf Patel bowled in the match, he said, "I don't think he surprised us (after) the way he bowled in Baroda. He is in fine form at the moment. MORE

First Published: Mar 13, 2006 19:46 IST