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Flintoff calls for unity as England go for series win

Andrew Flintoff believes England have the character to rebound.

February 11, 2009, 11:27 AM IST
Flintoff calls for unity as England go for series win

St John's, Antigua: Andrew Flintoff believes England have the character to rebound in the second Test against West Indies at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, starting on Friday.

The England all-rounder also believes England can not only draw level in the four-Test series which West Indies lead following a sensational innings and 23-run victory in the opening Test at Kingston, but that the visitors can also take the series.

"The spirit's been good, but maybe we need to draw on each other a little bit more," Flintoff told reporters. "Help your mates out, help each other to try and make the side successful.

"We have all the ingredients of a successful side and we have to put them all together.

"That's going to be the test for people, when you go through something like that you still have to back yourself and that's going to be the big test of character."

Flintoff hit the top score of 24, as England, trailing by 74 runs from the first innings, were dismissed for 51 in their second innings at Sabina Park.

It was their third lowest total in Tests following a spectacular new-ball spell from Jerome Taylor in which he claimed five wickets for 11 runs from nine overs that earned him the Man-of-the-Match award.

"You can talk about technique and work in the nets, but it is all about how people respond to what's happened," Flintoff said.

"It's very important we come back strong on Friday.

"Sides who perform well and perform well for a time are the ones who people say have a good relationship between them and this is a true test of us now, a real challenge."

The reasons for England's capitulation have varied between inability to handle pressure to distractions caused by the Indian Premier League auction to the rift which led to the sacking of former coach Peter Moores and the resignation of Kevin Pietersen from the post of captain.

But Flintoff acknowledged the side had "an honest chat" on Monday night, their first official team meeting following the debacle, and he believes they will come out stronger for it.

"After the game, we were very flat, and probably a bit numb, but as bad as it was in Jamaica, we can still win the series, we have to believe that," he said.

"I can say this and that but on the cricket field we have to start scoring our runs and taking our wickets - I am confident we can do that," he added.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more