Flower Insists England Have A Chance In South Africa

Flower Insists England Have A Chance In South Africa
Flower Insists England Have A Chance In South Africa
©Action Images / Scott Heavey

England Team Director Andy Flower maintains that his side do have a chance of winning the ICC Champions Trophy, despite being beaten 6-1 at home by Australia.

England won the final game of the series by four wickets at The Riverside to at least avoid the humiliation of a 7-0 scoreline and Flower admitted that the series had been a disappointment.

Speaking at a pre-departure press conference, he said:

“It was really nice to get a win under our belt before we left - no-one wanted to go down 7-0.

“Our form is poor - we can’t hide from that. We play three qualifying matches. If we get a couple of wins there then we’re into the semi-finals, so we have a chance.”

England are grouped alongside New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka in Group B of the tournament, which sees the top two from each group progress to the semi-finals and Flower believes the tournament format can help England.

“The fact that it’s a very short tournament gives us a chance,” he said. "We backed the squad a month ago when it was chosen, and they’ve got a lot of experience through this.

“I know it’s not a good experience, and no-one wants to get a drubbing like this, but they will have learnt a lot.

“It will be nice to get a change of scenery and draw a line under this one-day series, but we’ve got a lot of hard work to do, and there’s some thinking and some decision-making to be done about our one-day squad."

Flower was, however, keen to stress that there had been some positives during the series, particularly the batting of Joe Denly and Eoin Morgan.

"There have been glimpses of very good performances. Eoin Morgan played a busy Neil Fairbrother-type role in the middle - he looks promising, and struck the ball beautifully at Nottingham.

“(Joe) Denly looked the part up front as well, but all of our batsmen have got to go on to match-defining scores.

"They’ve all got in through the series, and all got out again fairly soon after, so they’ve all got to improve," he added.

England take on Sri Lanka at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday.

© Cricket World 2009