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Rediff.com  » Cricket » We've achieved nothing yet, says Eng coach Flower

We've achieved nothing yet, says Eng coach Flower

Last updated on: December 9, 2010 08:52 IST

'We played to win the game'

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England played the "perfect" game in Adelaide to take a 1-0 lead over Australia in the Ashes series but there was little danger of complacency as the team had achieved nothing so far, coach Andy Flower said on Wednesday.

"You don't often get the perfect game like that where you bowl the opposition out on a good deck on the first day and get a big lead," Flower said at the team's hotel a day after England's innings and 71-run victory in the second Test.

"We played to win the game. It's nothing more complicated than that. To do that, the players have to deliver certain skills under pressure and they did that really well in Adelaide."


Image: England players celebrate after winning the second Ashes Test in Adelaide

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'We want to see more tons from our batsmen'

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After plundering Australia's attack in the second innings of the first Test in Brisbane, England's batsmen roared to a 620-5 declared total in their first innings at Adelaide Oval.

Their bowlers then cut short Australia's second innings fight back by skittling the remaining six wickets in the morning session on the fifth day.

Despite the team's complete performance, Flower said there was room for improvement and challenged his batsmen to produce more big scores at Perth when the third Test gets underway on December 16.

"Without a doubt we can (improve). Adelaide was the first time that we have seen batsmen back up big hundreds with more big runs.

"But it's not often that our guys deliver big hundreds consecutively. And I think that was a great thing to see, so we want to see more of that from our batsmen."


Image: Ricky Ponting shakes hands with Kevin Pietersen

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'We've got a long way to go'

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One outstanding match would not guarantee England success in Perth, Flower said, where the team will miss the services of injured paceman Stuart Broad.

"How can we be complacent when were ranked number four in the world? We've got a long way to go and were only one-nil up in a five-Test series. So that would be a crazy one," Flower added.

Quick James Anderson's preparations for Perth would also be affected as he had flown home for the birth of his child and was not expected to re-join his teammates until shortly before the Test.

Flower will rest two of his bowlers for the three-day tour match against Victoria state at the Melbourne Cricket Ground starting on Friday to have the option of playing seamers Chris Tremlett, Tim Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad.


Image: Graeme Swann reacts after picking the last wicket during the second Ashes Test in Adelaide

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'Tour matches gave our players confidence'

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The England coach was cagey about his remaining selections but confirmed that wicketkeeper-batsman Steven Davies and Irish cricketer Eoin Morgan would be in the side along with captain Andrew Strauss, the only top-order England batsman to fail in Adelaide.

England played three-day matches on Test wickets in Perth and Adelaide and a four-dayer in Hobart in the lead-up, a marked contrast to the team's total of five days' match practice prior to their disastrous 5-0 whitewash four years ago.

Flower credited the robust schedule for helping their Ashes campaign get off to a flying start.

"I think (tour matches) were very important to give people confidence and the experience at the Test grounds is also important for our balance, so they are very important and this one's the same," Flower said of the Victoria match.


Image: England's Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen at a news conference after second Ashes Test in Adelaide

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'We respect the Australians, but don't fear them'

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While the Adelaide loss had prompted hand-wringing across sports-mad Australia, who have not lost a home series to their bitter rivals in 24 years, Flower said he was oblivious to the soul-searching and selection dilemmas facing the hosts ahead of Perth.

"We respect the Australians, they're a very good side, they're a very strong cricketing nation as we all know.

"But I wouldn't say fear is a word that comes into our discussions at any time and we try to keep it away from our dressing room. Our guys are confident about their own game."


Image: Ricky Ponting

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