Flintoff counting on past experience to do well in India

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/f/flintoff_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Andrew Flintoff said he is counting on his past experience of playing in India to help his team upstage Dhoni's side in the ODI series starting Nov 14.

Updated: November 08, 2008 14:33 IST
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Fit and raring to go after missing nearly a year of international cricket due to injuries, England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff on Saturday said he is counting on his past experience of playing in India to help his team upstage Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side in the seven-match ODI series starting on November 14.

"I will be trying to pass on whatever I know and help other people in the team with my experience. The important thing is for everyone to enjoy the Indian culture while they are here," Flintoff said.

The lanky all-rounder, who was out for about a year due to a nagging ankle injury before returning to international cricket this year, said the big test for the English team would be the Indian conditions and adapting to them.

"I have been trying to get lighter on my feet while batting," Flintoff said.

Denying there would be any extra pressure on him to perform during the seven ODI series and two Tests, he said, "When I go out to bat I just want to score runs." "Playing in India was always an interesting as people were more passionate about the game and the stadiums were packed with spectators," Flintoff said.

"I still remember walking out at Eden Gardens with a crowd of about 70,000 spectators cheering," he said.

Flintoff said it was regrettable that Sachin Tendulkar would be absent for the first three ODIs and only a few of the senior players like Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble would be there in the upcoming tour.

"I enjoy playing against Sachin Tendulkar and have had the privilege of playing against him on a few occasions. However this time there are some new faces like (Gautam) Gambhir who are doing well," he said.

When asked if he would miss bowling to Sourav Ganguly, who is retiring from cricket after the Nagpur Test against Australia and with whom he shared a frosty relationship, Flintoff said, "Not on these wickets." The all-rounder said though he knew Indian players like Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid and V V S Laxman he had played few games against them.

Flintoff did not rule out removing his shirt again as he famously did at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai during the 2002 tour to celebrate squaring the ODI series.

"It depends on how things go," he said, adding that the last time the team had done well in the ODIs but not too well in the Tests.

He rued that they would play only two Test matches in the tour and said he enjoyed the longer version of the game, particularly playing India on their home turf.

Flintoff, known for his ability to get reverse swing, said it would be "a great asset" if he could generate some reverse swing while bowling in India.

With the return of Steve Harmison in the team, Flintoff said he did not expect to be opening the bowling attack here.

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