Ashes

Flower: Things not rosy in Oz

2010-12-20 08:33
Andy Flower (File)

Perth - England cricket coach Andy Flower says Australia's series-leveling win in the third Ashes cricket Test does not change his view that things are "not rosy" in the Australian camp.

Australia won the Perth Test by 267 runs to even the five-match series at 1-1 after England had won the second Test at Adelaide by an innings and 71 runs. England need to win only one of the last two Tests to retain the Ashes that it won at home in 2009.

Flower said Australia's emphatic win in Perth had not altered his belief that Australia is fragile and dependent on Mike Hussey and Shane Watson to score most of its runs. He also hinted at changes to the England line-up for the fourth Test which starts in Melbourne on Sunday.

"There's no doubt that everything is not rosy in their camp," Flower said. "One Test match does not create that so, yes, we realise that. Watson and Hussey have been very good for them so far and we will be looking to make the most of that in this next Test (in Melbourne)."

Flower acknowledged concerns that England was asking too much of its bowlers by persisting with a three-pronged seam attack through the Ashes series. English commentators have suggested England's bowlers began to show the strain in Perth of a heavy workload in harsh Australian conditions.

"A five-Test series is hard on everyone, both physically and emotionally. For the fast bowlers even more so, I would say," Flower said.

"We've got a few days now to reassess prior to Melbourne and the bottom line is we'll pick the XI that we think will have the best chance of winning in Melbourne.

"The workload on our bowlers is heavy. In the absence of a quality all-rounder we're sticking with our four-bowler attack and we've shown over the last 18 months that it's served us well."

Flower would not refute suggestions that Ian Bell may be promoted in the batting order to allow Kevin Pietersen and the struggling Paul Collingwood to bat lower, shielded to an extent from the Australian quicks.

"We are always looking at ways to improve our side," Flower said. "Ian Bell looks in very good form, he's very confident and he's played beautifully throughout this tour.

"Jiggling with batting orders and personnel is always an option but you also have to be careful about altering a side that's been very successful over the last 18 months."

Australia has named an unchanged line-up for Melbourne, although captain Ricky Ponting could be a late scratch due to a broken finger.

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