England need to take 20 wickets: Flower

March 12th, 2009 - 8:55 pm ICT by IANS  

London, March 12 (IANS) Acting England cricket coach Andy Flower feels the team needs to work on their inability to take 20 wickets in a Test match.
Flower, who will be submitting his report on the team after the ongoing tour of West Indies tour, also feels the side needs to work on their history of slow starts.

England have played six Tests this winter and not once have they managed to take 20 wickets, although they fell only fractionally short in Antigua, where West Indies defended their last wicket for 10 overs, and in Trinidad, where they lost eight wickets but held on to win the series.

“We got close to bowling West Indies out on two occasions,” Flower was quoted as saying in the Guardian.

“And we have played on very flat pitches. They have been good batting decks. We have seen that by the scores and the fact that bowlers on both sides have toiled hard.

“I think our reverse swing skills have improved and we saw Jimmy Anderson bowl some good reverse swing and I thought Amjad Khan did all right in his first Test as well. He reverse-swung it both ways and looked dangerous. Why can’t we take 20 wickets, though?”

Flower, who has held the role of head coach on a temporary basis following the departure of Peter Moores, thinks the nature of English pitches, which generally help seamers, has been a hindrance to an extent although he is reluctant to use this as an excuse.

“I think the conditions in England train bowlers to bowl in a certain fashion whereas, if you grow up in Pakistan, say, you learn different skills. It is a contributing factor.

“But our international cricketers travel the world these days fairly young and have coaches that have played all over the world, so I don’t think we should make those excuses really. There is enough knowledge and exposure to develop those skills in our own country,” he said.

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