Following a hard day's work in the field, Andrew Flintoff says that he is pleased with his performance and the practice that England's fast bowlers achieved.
"Yeah, I went through the gears a bit today, and I've still got a little in me," Flintoff, who took 3 for 74 to trigger the Indian collapse, told reporters here. "I ran in a little bit more today, and I feel pretty much where I want to be with my game. You know its going to be hot, don't you? It was alright, though, and I feel good about the day. I've been inside twice today to get a bit of ice, which felt nice, believe me."
Commenting on the hard work done by himself, Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard, Flintoff said that what had to be assessed was the experience on bowling on such conditions. "Definitely, we bowled well today," he said. "All three of us seamers today, we bowled 22 overs apiece, or thereabouts, and its important going into a series against India that we get overs under out belts. Speaking to Harmy (Harmison) and Hoggy (Hoggard), we're confident about where we're at now, so it speaks for the bowling. "
Questioned as to the lack of reverse swing, Flintoff clarified that it was a matter of the surface, not a lack of effort on England's part. "We didn't get any reverse swing today, but that's down to the pitch," he said. "There was a period where we thought we might, but didn't, and with the lush outfield and on a wicket that isn't abrasive, it's tough. As for the Test match pitches I'm not sure, to be honest. If that's the case then we might have rethink our tactics on it."
Michael Vaughan, who underwent further treatment on his knee today, made an appearance in England's fielding drills before the start of play. Citing his loss on the field, Flintoff maintained that for England, the key was moving on. "We've got to get on with our business, really. We've got to get out there and play good cricket, and get in the state to play a Test match," he said. "It's a loss not having Vaughany out there, he's had a jab at his knee but we have to work with that, so it's not a great deal more we can do."
For a man who scratched around for just one run off 10 deliveries in England's first innings, Flintoff cut a calm figure. "I'm playing alright in the nets," he maintained. "I got caught a little between stick or twist in the first innings, but I probably just need to get more time out in the middle and grind it out for a while. But its not something I'm overly concerned about. A few runs and see, I'll be just fine."
Jamie Alter is editorial assistant of Cricinfo