England in India 2008-09 December 8, 2008

We decided to go as a team - Flintoff

Cricinfo staff


Andrew Flintoff: "We have now got two Test matches to show what we can do" © Getty Images
 

England's allrounder, Andrew Flintoff, has said the decision to return to India for their two-Test series was taken by the team as a whole, and not just by the senior members. The squad arrived in Chennai from their Middle East training camp a day after receiving security assurances from the ECB's expert, Reg Dickason.

"Throughout, everyone has voiced their opinion, whether they be junior or senior players," Flintoff said. "Everyone has decided to go, so to say it was just about the senior players would be wrong. We have decided to go as a team."

Flintoff, along with Steve Harmison, was initially apprehensive of returning to the subcontinent to complete the tour and admitted it had been "a difficult last three days".

"When we have been practising out on the field, batting and bowling, the intensity has been fine. But when people are on their own, and with time to think, the mood has been different," he said.

However, Flintoff believed the recent events in Mumbai would take nothing away from the tough fight the team was expecting, after a 5-0 hiding in the ODI series that was cut short after the terror attacks. "If you win anything in India I think you are doing well," Flintoff said. "Particularly with the way they played in the one-dayers, and the way they played against Australia. We have now got two Test matches to show what we can do."

Hugh Morris, managing director of England cricket, praised the England squad for their collective decision. "I said right from the word go that we wouldn't be twisting people's arms up their backs," he said. "It says a lot for the solidarity of the team that everybody is going to go across."

"Every now and again sportsmen and women have the chance to do something beyond their performances on the field. For very tragic reasons, the England team have that opportunity, they have made a very brave, a very courageous decision and one which will be really respected right across the world."

England, who lost their last Test series, at home to South Africa in August, underwent a three-day training camp in Abu Dhabi to help them prepare for the Tests.