England coach Andy Flower admits there is room for improvement

Coach Andy Flower has admitted that England will need to improve in order to retain the Ashes this summer and next winter

By James Dutton
andy flower
Andy Flower was pleased with a "wonderful winter" for England Photo: The Sport Review

andy flower

Andy Flower has admitted that England will need to improve in order to retain the Ashes this summer and next winter, despite enjoying a “wonderful winter” in 2012-13.

His side narrowly avoided defeat against New Zealand, batting throughout all of the fifth day of the decisive final Test with just six wickets remaining to salvage a draw

“We’ve got a big year of international cricket and we will need to be sharper, better and more skilful,” said Flower.

“But it has been a wonderful winter and to win in India was a really special moment. The only series we have lost was the one-day series in India.”

Though England drew each of the three Tests in New Zealand, they claimed a momentous 2-1 victory in India, their first series victory there since 1985.

The remainder of the calendar year will see England host the Kiwis, the one-day Champions Trophy tournament and two back-to-back Ashes series against Australia.

Flower insists that England, ranked the second-best Test side in the world, did not approach their tour of New Zealand with complacency.

“We place importance on all international series and it would be disrespectful to do anything other than that – there was no complacency in our camp,” he said.

“We understood it would be a tough challenge to come here and win. Just because you are ranked above another team it doesn’t give you the right to win any series.

“It was a good escape in the end. But we got ourselves into trouble, we didn’t play particularly great cricket and did well to get a draw.

“Ian Bell and Matt Prior were excellent; they fought hard and that’s a quality of the team, but we have to be better to get into winning positions, not scratching our way to a draw.

“We didn’t move the ball sideways and if you don’t move the ball against international batsmen you are not going to create chances. That was worrying for me. They swung the ball and we didn’t do that too much.”

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