England in India 2011-12 October 21, 2011

Flower defends England's attitude

ESPNcricinfo staff

Andy Flower, the England team director, defended his players' on-field attitude, which has been a source of criticism on their tour of India, and also the approach of Jonathan Trott after another innings that divided opinion in their series-deciding defeat in Mohali.

Throughout the series the England players have been agitated in the field and there were further examples on Thursday as they failed to defend 298 in the third ODI. Tim Bresnan was fined for snatching his cap off the umpire after a frustrating over; and Craig Kieswetter's 'chat' behind the stumps has raised questions, especially because of his unconvincing performances with the gloves which included a dropped catch and missed run-out on Thursday.

Even within the team some players are not afraid of airing their views to team-mates when something goes wrong - with Graeme Swann often seen berating fielders - but Flower believes England have got the balance right and thought Bresnan's fine, although small, was unfair. That view backed up Bresnan's not-guilty plea that meant a hearing was required.

"Tim Bresnan is an outstanding young man with a very good disciplinary record," Flower said. "To be quite honest, I think in this instance it is a harsh judgement - in that it was quite a frustrating over for him.

"His snatching of a cap was done out of frustration at five overthrows and an edge down to the third-man boundary, as opposed to any dissent for a decision. I have no problem at all with Tim's behaviour. He has an outstanding conduct record. They've made their judgment, and whether or not we disagree with it is by the by. I think we all move on now."

The on-field chat hasn't just come from England and following the second one-dayer in Delhi the match-referee, Roshan Mahanama, spoke to both captains about the conduct of their teams. Following the match in Mohali, Dhoni said England might need to change their strategy of verbal intimidation considering it had not worked in their favour.

Again, though, Flower believes that England have shown acceptable emotions when in the heat of battle and that disappointment can be misunderstood as anger. "Every sportsman has to consider that balance, and in the main I think our cricketers are excellent role-models and conduct themselves in the way that passionate English sportspeople should do.

"The match-referee, after the second one-day international, spoke to both captains about the conduct of both sides - and I think he was right to do that. I think in that second game there was too much 'talk' out in the middle. After all, we play the game as a game of skill and you're there to 'out-skill' your opponents.

"Yes, there is a difference between passion and poor conduct and, on almost all occasions, I think our guys are excellent at finding that balance."

Flower was also fully supportive of the innings played by Trott who made an unbeaten 98 off 116 balls to anchor England's total in Mohali. Kevin Pietersen and Samit Patel, with a career-best 70 off 43 deliveries, played more aggressive hands in partnership with Trott and Flower thought the balance was right, pointing out the career-record of Mahela Jayawardene as a comparison to Trott's figures.

"Since he started playing one-day cricket for England, he has been very consistent - and that consistency has helped us score bigger totals. I think, if anything, some of the players around him have under-performed with the bat, and I think he's playing good cricket. Until a better player comes along, Jonathan Trott will play."

England are now focused on avoiding a 5-0 whitewash which would match the scoreline from the 2008 series when the final two matches were cancelled due to the Mumbai terror attacks. England's next attempt to secure a win will come in Mumbai, the first time they have visited the city for an international since 2006.

Graham Onions, who replaced the injured Chris Woakes, has linked up the with the squad and will provide a fast-bowling option alongside the uncapped Stuart Meaker if the management want to leave out the struggling Jade Dernbach.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mayuresh on October 24, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    Guys, please be calm. Andy is an experienced campaigner and he is right. The English team is striking the balance by being excellent in sledging and devastating at play. The only question that arises now is that is Andy coaching them on cricketing skills or sledging skills :)

  • SURIA on October 24, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    I am a fan of Sri Lanka but 5wombats, just why do you start crying when India thrashes England? LOL. Oh, and Bresnan definitely deserved that fine :D.

  • Mandeep on October 24, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    "england cant win anything, so thay are frustrated" - Suresh raina

  • karthik on October 24, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    It was a fluke Eng became no 1 in tests...

  • Indian on October 24, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    "His snatching of a cap was done out of frustration at five overthrows and an edge down to the third-man boundary, as opposed to any dissent for a decision"

    Why is that the Umpires problem then? Why should the Umpire bear the brunt of his teams failure? This is ridiculous behaviour!

  • Kiraat on October 24, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    It is interesting to read the heated exchanges between Indian and English supporters on the forum. I am an Indian fan but here are some objective views: - England and India are both very good sides in home conditions. However, I think India is slightly more stronger at home. - The english seam attack is much better than the Indian seam attack (especially without Zaheer). Here, there are no two ways! As a result, India always struggles in Australia and England and in South Africa as well - England, outside the sub-continent is a better test team than India currently purely because of the bowling - Indians are better at accepting defeat than the english - Cook as England's captain in ODI's is a disaster. He is completely lost. India, in the form of Dhoni, has a humonous advantage. - Finally, over a period of time, India has been the better ODI side by far. Weakness or no weakness abroad, India won a world cup in England and reached the finals in South Africa.

  • Dummy4 on October 24, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    Exactly what was Flower talking abt ? Like he sed players get frustrated when they aren't picking up the wickets but Indians din show that kinda gestures when they weren't picking up the wickets in England, nor in India . It exactly shows how cruel they are !! Only they are doing it coz they outplayed India in England N anticipated to repeat that but couldn't succeed . Indians are so good at their own yards. With the team that England have, can't oust the Indians in their home soil. Again saying, India worst at outside Asia but in home , they are perfect !!!!

  • Dummy4 on October 24, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    Indian Team is Plying without Sachin, Sahawag, Harbhajan, Zahir and routed England 4.0 may be 5.0 on coming days, shows strength of Indian Cricket Future

  • Shachindra on October 24, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    Sledging, as long as it is within the limits, is totally acceptable in cricket or in any other sport..It makes the game even more interesting..As far as I am concerned, the English team hasn't done anything wrong even if they have instigated some banter on the field..Indians have been no saints either..Afterall, no one would like to lose after having nailed the opposition 4-0, 3-0..Indians have been battered and smashed by the English at their home and even the presence of the mighty Zaheer/Sehwag could not have prevented the series defeat in tests..Maybe the margin of loss could have been lil better..England are undoubtedly the best Test team and India are the best ODI team..

  • Dummy4 on October 24, 2011, 1:22 GMT

    Well... Sledging has become a part of the game nowadays... But the act of Steve Finn was one which cannot be let off easily... I understand the frustration of the bowlers, when they are hit for a couple of boundaries early in the over, but it does not mean the frustration can let u spit, almost nearly in Raina's face. That is definitely worth an act of fine, infact can be handed over a one match suspension. You can walk off the field laughing with Kohli, but on field discipline also needs to be maintained... Just because you are sportive, does not mean you can spit almost on your opponent, and cant get away by just walking away smiling at the end of the game with another player in the opponent!!!! Finn needs to be booked for that, just like Bresnan!!!

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