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Cricket

Flower to keep Ashes winners in place

England coach Andy Flower stands up for his captain and says he will keep his strongest team in place for fifth Test.

Last Modified: 13 Aug 2013 13:05
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So far so good: Andy Flower (L) is proud of the way Alastair Cook (R) has handled being England captain [AFP]

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.

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

Andy Flower, on captain Alastair Cook

"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."

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."

Captain Cook will not let England rest on their laurels after snatching victory from the jaws of defeat and wants to end the Ashes series in style next week. 

"Nine wickets in a session, the crowd, the excitement and the nerves... we are going to get greedy and try and repeat that at the Oval," an elated Cook told reporters after his side took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

"It was a very special day and one that I'll look back on with real fondness," he said.

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Source:
Reuters
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