England banking on Flintoff to stun India

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Mumbai, Nov 7 (UNI) High on confidence after Andrew Flintoff's return to the team, England skipper Kevin Pietersen today said the all-rounder's presence would help the team to make a major upset over India in the upcoming ODI series, starting from November 14.

''The series is going to be difficult. The Indian cricket team led by M S Dhoni is looking fantastic. It is going to be a hard game for us,'' Peitersen told mediapersons here after he arrived with his team for the seven-match ODI series.

''I know beating India would be a difficult task. The wickets are flat, the ball swings, the ground conditions are different.

We drew the Test series and got smashed in the one-dayers last time. But we are looking to improve on that,'' he added.

Pietersen said Flitoff will come out all guns blazing against the Indians and added the long lay off has only made him more competent.

''He was injured and when he came he was firing. When you miss something you love for 18 months, it is very hard to come back.

You want to perform and you have the newness and energy.

''It is not fair to say that I did anything in terms of Flintoff coming back, he is a marvellous player and did well before as a captain,'' Pietersen said.

Among the present crop of bowlers in the England team, only Flintoff and Steve Harmisson toured India last time.

''We are trying to get fast bowler Steve Harmison back in the squad.

''He (Steve) had a fantastic season, though he missed playing international cricket. Once he comes back he is going to be best bowler,'' Pietersen added.

The attacking Pieterson, who recently took over as captain of the England team in both forms of the game, was all geared up to prove himself against a strong Indian team in their own den.

''I think my approach about the captaincy is just its newness and it is like a fresh start for me.

''The boys have done very well with the new regime, the new set up and the structure. The boys don't have to worry about anything we are their to support and back them, we want them to perform well,'' he added.

However, Pieterson dismissed claims that captaincy has added pressure on him. ''I try not to be under pressure. I have certain ways of dealing with pressure.'' The England captain also hailed the performances of senior Indian batsmen like Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman in the ongoing Test series against Australia and wished them luck for future.

''Players like Sourav Ganguly and Laxman are doing well for India, I wish them well,'' he said.


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