FLOWER TIPS FLOPS TO BAT AWAY CRITICS
ANDY FLOWER is confident the batsmen who took England to the top of world cricket are still the ones most likely to keep them there.
The England coach has little time to help his team regain confidence in the wake of their 3-0 Test series drubbing by Pakistan before they tackle four one-day internationals and three Twenty20s against the same opponents.
His new chief allies will be limited overs captains Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad, rather than Test leader Andrew Strauss, and other changes in personnel include a sabbatical for the out-of-form Ian Bell.
Kevin Pietersen – who like Bell endured a miserable run of scores against Pakistan’s spinners – will open the batting.
spirits and improve technique, while being sure in his mind whether there is any need to bow to the clamour to bring new batsmen into the Test arena.
But a sudden raft of changes appears unlikely.
“You don’t always succeed, and when that is the case it can create some doubts,” said Flower.
“But the best players come through those moments of doubt and come out with a stronger package.
“Of course, there is a cut-off line where it would be stupid to continue along the same path if it’s not being successful.
“In the main, I don’t think we’re there with this group of players.
“This is not a closed shop – and everyone’s aware of that – but this group of batsmen have done an outstanding job for England and have very good international records over the past few years.”
SMALL CHANGE: Bell’s
a goner but Flower (above) still has faith
in KP (top left)