Coach Flower hopes to lead England to Ashes triumph

March 12th, 2009 - 5:08 pm ICT by ANI  

Trinidad, Mar.12 (ANI): Coach Andy Flower wants to lead England to an Ashes triumph this year, even as the side battles to remove the tag of rank outsiders in which they have rapidly descended into. England has failed to win any of its twelve matches this winter, while the Aussies are on an amazing upward turn having won their last three Tests against South Africa, reports The Sun. Flower knows England have little chance of regaining crickets most fabled prize this summer unless their performances improve dramatically. But it has not stopped the former Zimbabwe captain wanting to take on the role of head coach officially England cricket director vacated when Peter Moores was sacked.
Flowers application was dispatched to the ECB last Thursday. Last night, he said: Andrew Strauss is leading this team and hes a good leader. On the coaching front, Ive really enjoyed the responsibility and the different role.
My application for the job is in. I think the ECB wanted an appointment by the end of March but might extend that until the first week of April. I dont know if losing the Test series here is a blow to me getting the job. Possibly but Im not the man making those decisions.
Current selector Ashley Giles has applied and former South African coach Graham Ford is also interested.
Losing this series in his role as assistant coach does not look good on Flowers CV but the original squad was picked when Moores was still head coach and Kevin Pietersen captain.
England has now dropped to sixth in the Test rankings. They were expected to win the series comfortably but ended up losing 1-0.
By contrast, Australia has overcome successive series losses to India and South Africa with two stunning Test victories in the return contest with the Proteas.
The Aussies have brought in new players who have made an instant impact such as opener Phil Hughes who scored a century in each innings in Durban this week, all-rounders Marcus North and Andrew McDonald plus quickies Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus. And left-armer Mitchell Johnson is now the worlds No 2-rated Test bowler.
Yet Flower insists he is optimistic about Englands chances.
He said: I can see signs of progress. We played really good cricket in this series after being bowled out for 51 in First Test. Weve posted big totals and Im pleased with how our bowlers performed. I know we didnt bowl out West Indies twice in the same match we were very close twice but Jimmy Anderson got better and better and it was great to see Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar operating in tandem.
The lesson we learned is we must start series well. One of Steve Waughs maxims was to hit the ground running and land the first punch. But we havent won a first Test in an overseas series for a long time. Straussy and I will talk about it and do things differently next time. I wish Id had a say in the selection of this squad. We all have different opinions on how to play and who we think are international cricketers. So there is still some sorting out to be done in terms of selection, he said. (ANI)

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