December 23, 2001

Hussain pleased with his young side's performance


England captain Nasser Hussain was determined to be positive about his team's performance in the series against India after rain washed out the final day's play at Bangalore.

"Losing 1-0 you don't crack open the champagne but I am very pleased with the way this young side played," said Hussain.

"I was pretty chuffed how we started out in Mohali on the first day of a Test series, being 200 for three, and we have played well throughout if you take out two hours where we batted abysmally."

Asked whether England could have bowled the hosts out twice at Bangalore, Hussain said: "I think in this Test match we probably would have done with Flintoff hitting the deck hard and White and Hoggard bowling well.

"The biggest gain for me is the team morale and spirit we have built in India. Hopefully now with the senior players included it gives us 18, 19 or 20 names to choose from.

"What people will find is that a six-week tour of India is irreplacable in terms of experience for young players."

Andrew Flintoff's four wickets for 50 at Bangalore won him the man-of-the-match award.

"I didn't get too many runs but I got four wickets and I am pleased to get the award," Flintoff said.

"It has been good because before the last 12 months, I hadn't bowled properly since I was 14. Hopefully my back will hold up."

Of his experience with the new ball in the last two tests, Flintoff said: "I have enjoyed it. It is something I have not done a lot of. The first game against India A was the first time I had done it since I was 18."

Meanwhile India's captain Saurav Ganguly felt his team had failed to reach expectations since the Mohali Test.

"I thought we played pretty well in Mohali but not at Ahmedabad and Bangalore, where England played pretty well," Ganguly said.

"Our batting has got to be worked on a lot. We did not do well enough. But in the last six or seven months we have bowled pretty well. In this series Anil (Kumble), (Javagal) Srinath and Harbhajan (Singh) bowled well."