England will be Melbourne marvels: Flower

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

MELBOURNE - Coach Andy Flower is confident that England will put up a marvelous performance during the Boxing Day Test that begins here from Sunday.

Rubbishing suggestions and reports that England had become complacent after winning the Ashes Test in Adelaide and losing the one in Perth, Flower said England have forged a strong team spirit on tour and remain buoyant despite the heavy defeat at the WACA.

“If you lose wickets in clusters you don’t win Tests,’ said the England coach as he surveyed the grey skies here that matched England’s mood.

He added: “It’s an area we’ve got to get better at. We didn’t deal with Johnson as skillfully as we should have. Our performance did take me by surprise, yes, because I didn’t expect it. But we also knew that coming to Australia to win was never going to be easy. To think that would have been naive.”

“I wouldn’t call it a blip. It’s a bad game and I’m not happy with how we handled it, but we’ve played very well on this tour, had career bests in each Test and broken records, so we’re doing a lot right. We will have to regroup and be better in Melbourne,” the Daily Mail quoted Flower, as saying.

Flower banned the players’ families from the first five weeks of the tour so that a group collective could be worked on and there is no doubt that they have been a very tight-knit bunch up to now. Has that spirit been affected by the arrival of the families?

“I don’t equate the families arriving with us losing this Test at all,” said Flower.

“‘We will all be together on Christmas Day, which we’re all looking forward to. We did the same thing in Durban last year and then came out and won the Test that started on Boxing Day. That is what we hope to be doing again,” Flower said.

“The important thing is delivering skills, not sledging or being overtly aggressive,” insisted Flower. (ANI)

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