Thu, Feb 12, 2009 - Page 18 News List

England star upbeat despite humiliation in first Test match

AFP , ST JOHN’S, ANTIGUA

West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor delivers a ball during a practice session on Tuesday in St John’s, Antigua. The second Test between the West Indies and England starts in St John’s tomorrow.

PHOTO: AFP

Andrew Flintoff believes England can rebound in the second Test against West Indies starting tomorrow. He also believes England can not only draw level in the four-Test series that West Indies lead following an innings and 23-run victory in the opening Test at Kingston, but that the visitors can 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,” he said.

“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,” the Lancastrian said.

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 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,” he said.

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.

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