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'Alastair Cook's captaincy has been excellent'

August 14, 2013 10:21 IST

'Alastair Cook's captaincy has been excellent'

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England coach Andy Flower is not willing to experiment with his line-up too much for next week's final Ashes Test against Australia even though the hosts have already wrapped up the five-match series 3-0.

England won the Ashes outright on Monday after a stunning evening session at Durham reduced Australia from 120 for one to 224 all out. England were celebrating a 74-run victory thanks to strong bowling efforts by Stuart Broad (6-50), Tim Bresnan (2-36) and Graeme Swann (2-53).

With such a commanding performance, there had been suggestions that Flower could rest some of the bowlers in the fifth match starting at the Oval next Wednesday before the return series in Australia which begins in November.

"I can't see us changing much, we're still representing our country in this fifth Test, it's still an Ashes test, and we are determined to win it," Flower told a news conference on Tuesday.

"We'll meet over the next couple of days and talk about our side for the fifth Test."




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'Cook has been strong in the dressing room and on the field'

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Captain Alastair Cook, 28, has not been at his best with the bat, managing only three half centuries, but drew praise from his coach for his leadership, in particular the decision to bring back Bresnan which resulted in the loss of David Warner when set on 71.

"Cook's captaincy has been excellent, he's been strong in the dressing room and out on the field and made some decisions yesterday that turned the game," said Flower.

"Bringing Bresnan on who got Warner out straight away was a good decision.

"As a Test captain he is still young man but he's led the side brilliantly, he's strong leader and made some really big decisions in this Test series."




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'The no.1 ranking is no longer the clear motivation'

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While the side was determined to push on and win the series 4-0 before attempting to defend it in Australia, becoming the world's top ranked test nation was no longer a major motivation.

They are currently ranked number three, having been knocked off top spot by South Africa a year ago.

"It was a burning ambition for us, because we had not been number one before. That has dissipated slightly, we were focussing on this series, then we focus on the next Test series," he added.

"The number one ranking is no longer the clear motivation it was, we used it quite well as a motivating tool but we are not quite as hungry for it as we were before."




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