Fletcher fights for Flintoff

England cricket coach Duncan Fletcher has come in to bat for stand-in skipper Andrew Flintoff after his side lost the first Test to India.

Flintoff, according to Fletcher, in his second Test at the helm, is not to blame for the loss and it was the team's lack of experience that cost it against India.

"He's got a very, very difficult job here. He's an all-rounder - he's got to bowl, bat and captain the side," said the coach.

"It's a huge amount of work that he's got to do and he's done very well with a very inexperienced side. There's only one person over 30," said Fletcher.

England must now win the final Test, which starts in Mumbai late this week, to avoid its second consecutive series defeat in the longer form of the game, having been beaten 2-0 in Pakistan prior to Christmas.

"It's a very difficult ask for these young guys. We've got four major players out and four new boys in the side," said Fletcher.

"There were periods when we did play well, but we just weren't consistent enough.

"It's always with young sides, as I've repeated on numerous occasions, about consistency. Experience tends to give you the consistency that's required."

Fletcher also highlighted a lack of patience at the crease as the reason for his nations' recent woes with the bat.

"It's been shown on these wickets that people who go in there and really work at their innings and show a bit of patience get the rewards," he said.

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