Champions Trophy / News

Australia v England, 6th match, Champions Trophy

Flintoff plays down defeat

AFP and Cricinfo staff

October 22, 2006

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Andrew Flintoff claims England saw the match against Australia in isolation © Getty Images

Andrew Flintoff has unsurprisingly brushed off suggestions England will now be under more pressure going into next month's Ashes series after losing to Australia in the Champions Trophy on Saturday.

England's chances of qualifying for the semi-finals virtually ended on Saturday when they crashed to a six-wicket defeat, their second successive loss. They will now clash with West Indies in their last league game at Ahmedabad on October 28.

"We took this match in isolation," he said, "as a must-win game for both the sides to stay in the tournament." Regardless of Flintoff's attempts to play down defeat - "In the build-up people were trying to link it to the Ashes," he said, "but the Ashes start when we go to Australia" - the Australians will be boosted greatly by their victory in India.

Flintoff did concede his young side needed to improve considerably if they wanted to give a good account of themselves in coming months. "It is an exciting time in one-day cricket. But we need to improve," said Flintoff. "It is a young side. We have to step up as a team if we have the aspirations of doing well later in this winter."

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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