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July 2, 2010
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Matches: England v Australia at Lord's
Series/Tournaments: Bangladesh tour of England, Ireland and Scotland
England coach Andy Flower has downplayed any significance the outcome of the final NatWest ODI might have on the Ashes later this year.
England have already claimed the five-match series after winning the first three games but lost the fourth to a dominating Australian performance. So while Flower would obviously like to win Saturday's game at Lord's to cap a successful series, he is not too concerned about the result.
"Of course, 4-1 would be excellent for us - and we will be giving everything to do that," said Flower. "This is another important one-day international. Whenever you are representing your country, especially against such quality opposition, you will do everything in your power to win the game.
"But now that the series is already won, I don't think tomorrow's result will have huge implications for what happens in Australia towards the end of the year."
At the same time, Flower admitted winning is a habit and it will be good for England's psyche to keep the upper hand. "Every win you have against certain opponents grows your self-belief and confidence - and they are very important elements in competitive sport. We are always looking at ways to grow our confidence, and there is no better way to do that than playing well and winning against quality opposition."
Fast bowling will be a key factor on bouncy Australian pitches and both Stuart Broad and Steven Finn have both been rested recently to work on their conditioning. In Finn's case, there was also the suggestion that he was being hidden from Australia and Flower is positive England have the right combination of bowlers to be successful.
"Without doubt, pace will play a big part on those bouncier pitches. But I think we are getting a posse of bowlers together that will be able to hold their own. The early introduction of Finn against Bangladesh may bear some fruit in Australia. We are getting together a group of fast bowlers that will be able to dovetail, on form and fitness grounds, and be quite dangerous."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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