Flower tips English batsmen to combat Indian spinners

November 12th, 2008 - 8:27 pm ICT by IANS  

London/Mumbai, Nov 12 (IANS) During his playing days, Andy Flower was a nemesis for Indian spinners. And now touring India as England’s assistant coach, Flower is teaching them the nuances of playing on turning tracks.Flowers’s statistics against India is envious and since his early days as an opener he blossomed into one of the best players of spin in the world. He scored 1,138 runs against India from nine Tests at an intimidating average of 94.83 with his highest being an unbeaten 232.

The former Zimbabwe skipper, who was appointed England’s assistant coach in May, organised an innovative net session at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) here to see which batsman could play the greatest number of consecutive balls without error against some local spinners. With seven of the 16-man squad turning up, Flower took part to make up an even number and held his own under the adjudicating eye of head coach Peter Moores.

“I always loved India and found all the noise exciting. That way I never associated it with pressure,” Flower was quoted as saying by The Times.

“Important things, like picking length and understanding your game, are the same. But somebody like Andrew Flintoff cannot use the same methods as Ian Bell or Ravi Bopara. They like to use their feet and get forward or back very quickly. ‘Fred’ is a strong bloke and has to play accordingly. His strength is definitely playing strong shots down the ground,” he said.

Flower felt that Flintoff is more skilled than some people think.

“Flintoff is quite deft for a big bloke. In the one-day games against South Africa at the end of last season he played really late, which is a difficult skill for somebody of that build,” he added.

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