The Ashes 2013-14 January 6, 2014

Flower determined to correct mistakes

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'It's a bitter pill to swallow - Flower

Andy Flower has reiterated his desire to remain as England team director, but admitted "we've made mistakes" during the Ashes tour of Australia.

Under Flower, the England team won three successive Ashes series, their first global limited-overs tournament - the World Twenty20 of 2010 - and enjoyed periods at the top of the rankings in all three formats of the game.

But as a result of the whitewash defeat in Australia, England have fallen to fourth in the world Test rankings. Furthermore, the margin of defeat in the five games ranks as the worst England have experienced in 30 years.

"We're not proud of that result," Flower admitted. "It's quite a bitter pill to swallow, but we have to face up to that reality that we've been totally outplayed. We've had a lot of good times. This was not a good time for any of us involved with the England cricket team. I like to feel pride about the way we go about things. I don't feel pride in the way we played in this Test series.

"We have some thinking to do and some decisions to make. We've got to review what's happened on this tour. Obviously, we've made mistakes. I need to meet with the key decision-makers to decide what we're going to do."

Those key decision makers include Paul Downton, the new managing director of England cricket who does not formally take-up his new role until February 1, and David Collier, the ECB chief executive, who has already made it clear that Flower retains his unequivocal backing.

"Of course, it's good to have their support," Flower said. "And we all have a responsibility to get our heads together and learn from the mistakes we've made and get things moving in the right direction.

"Obviously after a loss of this proportion there has to be change of some description. It would not be reasonable to go on doing the same things again, I absolutely agree with that. Exactly what that change looks like I can't describe right now. I've got my own ideas but it would be irresponsible to go into it without discussing them with some key personnel.

"I think our methods, our environment and our personnel all need to be looked at. One of the skills a coach should have is adaptability. Sometimes you have to adapt your style to whoever your captain is and I think the better coaches can do that. I obviously have to look at the way I've led this group and I'm continually looking to improve myself."

Flower insisted that he had no thoughts of resigning. "Yes, I will be staying in this job," he said. "I am proud of my involvement with the England cricket team and very proud of the results we've had. I thiink it's important that we review this logically and learn from some of the mistakes we've made and ensure we get English cricket moving in the right direction again.

"It does feel like the end of some type of era and there will be some sort of new start. We might have to take a little more pain before we have sustained success again and we might have to ask for a little patience in that regard over the coming months.

"I think it will be the start of something new and I think Alastair Cook can lead that renewal and rebuilding the England cricket side."

Flower had earlier been pressed by Ian Ward on Sky TV about whether team spirit had suffered during a run of one-sided contests, Flower made no attempt to disguise that there had been issues. "There are always some personal agendas in most teams," he said. "No team is perfect and our team is no different.

"Team spirit always gets its closest examination under pressure and we have been put under a tremendous amount of pressure by a good side on their home turf. That is one area we will look at."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY himanshu.team on | January 6, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    I don't think England need to change too much in terms of personnel. A drubbing like that does not necessarily mean that they did not have the right people to do the job. It was pretty much the same bunch that won 3-0 just a few months back. They must work on their mindset and how the players approach a test match and series. I am shocked, not so much with the result, but with retirements of Trott and Swann. International teams need tough men, who would rise and shine in times of adversity, not the ones who would quit. England must imbibe that resilience and fighting spirit. Even if they are sure to loose, all of their efforts must make it very difficult for their opponents to win. Coming to Australia, they must have expected a barrage of quick, short bowling and lot of chatter. But as fighters, they should have taken in head-on and performed better than usual. Instead they got bothered by it all and surrendered meekly.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    Flower may to coach England till 2015, but the pressing need of the hour is a person to work on English Players mindset. Right now they are at the lowest ebb, and indeed even at the beginning of the series they did not look confident. Why? Clearly the players have not been handled properly by the ECB as well as those in charge of coaching. Of course the English press too must take the blame for making mountains out of mole hills, and breaking down team morale. On the other hand Aussies under Lehman worked both on the game and the mind. Lehman is a hard person and we saw it all when he was playing. This does not mean England need a hard person for coaching but someone who can do mind reading based on the gait and activities of each player, build confidence in them and show them that they can rise from the Ashes again. Building mind concentration through meditation may be the way forward for the English side.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 8, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    Hopefully cricinfo will publish this time as there's obviously nothing anyone can deem offensive

    @Ragav999 on (January 7, 2014, 10:30 GMT) Personally I will always say that no batsman or bowler should be bigger than the team. The players you mentioned (excluding KP) have all retired now and I'm not sure any of those batsmen went through such long periods where they looked so inept at the crease. Re Ponting for example - I doubt any Aus side he's been involved with have been thrashed like England have. You can say it leads to insecurity - but does a little bit of insecurity do too much harm? And the flip side of it is that keeping going the way things have been going and keeping underperforming players in a side IMO can lead to complacency and also where is the motivation for fringe players knowing that no matter how well they play and how badly those in the side play , the only way they get in is if there's an injury

  • POSTED BY on | January 8, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    Which MBA retard thought up the idea to play videos automatically on page-load ?

  • POSTED BY Fifthman on | January 7, 2014, 21:28 GMT

    When Flower was appointed as coach in 2008/9, I was delighted. He was definitely the man for that particular time, and probably was for the next 4 years. Certainly England would never have beaten Aus in their own backyard 3-1 in 2010/11 without Flower at the helm. But times change, and coaches have a lifespan. It certainly seems that Andy Flower has outlived his natural lifespan. England don't need someone to make incremental, fractional improvements to the team as is Flower's method, they need someone to give it an almighty shakeup. They need an English version of Boof Lehmann to restore some humour and some sanity to the dressing room and start making it fun and instinctive again. Players need to think for themselves, not rely upon the backroom Clone Army to do it for them. Decision making seems to be left to the coach and backroom staff these days, not the players on the field, and that's wrong.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 7, 2014, 13:37 GMT

    Ctd from (January 7, 2014, 9:54 GMT) 4 - There has been talk of heavy schedules etc wearing our players down - Personally I dont buy that too much but if this is the case then why dont we have a squad of test players that dont play ODIs at all? Either that or rest big players for certain tests. What's wrong with just resting a player for a test? Football managers rest most key players from time to time and if the player is jaded/out of nick then what's the problem? Of course someone could come in and do well and then it becomes a hard decision to make but surely it's a nice hard decision to make?

    I think fans can accept uninspiring cricket if the results are good and can accept bad results if the cricket is spiritted/entertaining but right now we have neither

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 7, 2014, 13:34 GMT

    @TheChap ctd - Re tiredness - Both teams had equal rest between the 2 series so if one team is more tired than the other it indicates fitness issues. Re scheduling - KP had questioned this a while ago so if we are to take him seriously then we should have done a while ago. He has said this time round about the same thing and yet he's never been so inactive in a year. Re motivation - Well it's thee most important test series out there for both sides and if that's not motivation enough (which it should be) Eng were neck and neck with India pre series and had a chance to move away from them and close the gap on SA. I suppose we moved away from India in the rankings but unfortunately the wrong way. Agree re Onions but whoever is captain will be a Flower clone like Cook and Strauss and they've already said they won't change the way they play

  • POSTED BY Ragav999 on | January 7, 2014, 10:30 GMT

    @JG2704 on (January 7, 2014, 9:54 GMT) : "Surely the best way to go about it is for them to play their way back into form away from the pressure and away from the limelight and where it is not costing the team results? " Do you want any batsman irrespective of their quality (Ex. Peterson, Lara, Sachin, Ponting, Kallis etc..) dropped if they underperform for a year or so? It will also lead to insecurity among existing batsmen and they will keep counting the number of games they have left (say ex. 15 innings without a century is the threshold). There does not seem to be any foolproof logical way of handling out of form players and bringing them right back at the beginning of their next purple patch. I am genuinely interested to know your thoughts on this.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 7, 2014, 10:28 GMT

    I think you have to look at the Flower era and for me it can be divided into 2 halves. In the 1st half (thereabouts) of his era England drew in SA, won in Aus and beat India 4-0.The only drawn series was in SA so I'd not call that a blemish. In the second half of his reign we had a great win in India but that for me was the only above par series result.Look at the other series and you have at least 4 poor/poorish series. Drawing in NZ (and lucky to draw) was poor as were the whitewashes at the hands of Aus and Pakistan and the 2-0 home defeat vs SA. On top of that the performances in SL and vs NZ and Aus at home were nothing to write home about either. After the 4-0 vs India we had a decent lead at the top of the ICC rankings - we still werent knocked off the top after the UAE debacle.We're now a massive 26 points behind SA & 10 points behind Ind in 2nd and 4 behind Aus who we were comfortably in front of pre series. So I'd hardly say calling for Flower to go as kneejerk

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 7, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    Not sure who should replace Flower but for me

    1 - He'd need to be more flexible with his tactics and have an onfield captain who can think on their feet a bit more 2- Our batting needs shaking up. I wonder if the flamboyance is being coached out of our test players? Obviously there needs to be some sort of modification but the mindset seems too defensive. 3- Someone who is not afraid to drop underperforming players no matter what they've achieved in the past esp when results are going against the team. There's nothing to say they cant come back into the side - soon after if their form merrits it. One thing I've always questioned is when a batsman looks hopelessly out of sorts for several games and the theory seems to be keep him in the side and let him play his way back into form. Surely the best way to go about it is for them to play their way back into form away from the pressure and away from the limelight and where it is not costing the team results?

  • POSTED BY himanshu.team on | January 6, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    I don't think England need to change too much in terms of personnel. A drubbing like that does not necessarily mean that they did not have the right people to do the job. It was pretty much the same bunch that won 3-0 just a few months back. They must work on their mindset and how the players approach a test match and series. I am shocked, not so much with the result, but with retirements of Trott and Swann. International teams need tough men, who would rise and shine in times of adversity, not the ones who would quit. England must imbibe that resilience and fighting spirit. Even if they are sure to loose, all of their efforts must make it very difficult for their opponents to win. Coming to Australia, they must have expected a barrage of quick, short bowling and lot of chatter. But as fighters, they should have taken in head-on and performed better than usual. Instead they got bothered by it all and surrendered meekly.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    Flower may to coach England till 2015, but the pressing need of the hour is a person to work on English Players mindset. Right now they are at the lowest ebb, and indeed even at the beginning of the series they did not look confident. Why? Clearly the players have not been handled properly by the ECB as well as those in charge of coaching. Of course the English press too must take the blame for making mountains out of mole hills, and breaking down team morale. On the other hand Aussies under Lehman worked both on the game and the mind. Lehman is a hard person and we saw it all when he was playing. This does not mean England need a hard person for coaching but someone who can do mind reading based on the gait and activities of each player, build confidence in them and show them that they can rise from the Ashes again. Building mind concentration through meditation may be the way forward for the English side.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 8, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    Hopefully cricinfo will publish this time as there's obviously nothing anyone can deem offensive

    @Ragav999 on (January 7, 2014, 10:30 GMT) Personally I will always say that no batsman or bowler should be bigger than the team. The players you mentioned (excluding KP) have all retired now and I'm not sure any of those batsmen went through such long periods where they looked so inept at the crease. Re Ponting for example - I doubt any Aus side he's been involved with have been thrashed like England have. You can say it leads to insecurity - but does a little bit of insecurity do too much harm? And the flip side of it is that keeping going the way things have been going and keeping underperforming players in a side IMO can lead to complacency and also where is the motivation for fringe players knowing that no matter how well they play and how badly those in the side play , the only way they get in is if there's an injury

  • POSTED BY on | January 8, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    Which MBA retard thought up the idea to play videos automatically on page-load ?

  • POSTED BY Fifthman on | January 7, 2014, 21:28 GMT

    When Flower was appointed as coach in 2008/9, I was delighted. He was definitely the man for that particular time, and probably was for the next 4 years. Certainly England would never have beaten Aus in their own backyard 3-1 in 2010/11 without Flower at the helm. But times change, and coaches have a lifespan. It certainly seems that Andy Flower has outlived his natural lifespan. England don't need someone to make incremental, fractional improvements to the team as is Flower's method, they need someone to give it an almighty shakeup. They need an English version of Boof Lehmann to restore some humour and some sanity to the dressing room and start making it fun and instinctive again. Players need to think for themselves, not rely upon the backroom Clone Army to do it for them. Decision making seems to be left to the coach and backroom staff these days, not the players on the field, and that's wrong.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 7, 2014, 13:37 GMT

    Ctd from (January 7, 2014, 9:54 GMT) 4 - There has been talk of heavy schedules etc wearing our players down - Personally I dont buy that too much but if this is the case then why dont we have a squad of test players that dont play ODIs at all? Either that or rest big players for certain tests. What's wrong with just resting a player for a test? Football managers rest most key players from time to time and if the player is jaded/out of nick then what's the problem? Of course someone could come in and do well and then it becomes a hard decision to make but surely it's a nice hard decision to make?

    I think fans can accept uninspiring cricket if the results are good and can accept bad results if the cricket is spiritted/entertaining but right now we have neither

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 7, 2014, 13:34 GMT

    @TheChap ctd - Re tiredness - Both teams had equal rest between the 2 series so if one team is more tired than the other it indicates fitness issues. Re scheduling - KP had questioned this a while ago so if we are to take him seriously then we should have done a while ago. He has said this time round about the same thing and yet he's never been so inactive in a year. Re motivation - Well it's thee most important test series out there for both sides and if that's not motivation enough (which it should be) Eng were neck and neck with India pre series and had a chance to move away from them and close the gap on SA. I suppose we moved away from India in the rankings but unfortunately the wrong way. Agree re Onions but whoever is captain will be a Flower clone like Cook and Strauss and they've already said they won't change the way they play

  • POSTED BY Ragav999 on | January 7, 2014, 10:30 GMT

    @JG2704 on (January 7, 2014, 9:54 GMT) : "Surely the best way to go about it is for them to play their way back into form away from the pressure and away from the limelight and where it is not costing the team results? " Do you want any batsman irrespective of their quality (Ex. Peterson, Lara, Sachin, Ponting, Kallis etc..) dropped if they underperform for a year or so? It will also lead to insecurity among existing batsmen and they will keep counting the number of games they have left (say ex. 15 innings without a century is the threshold). There does not seem to be any foolproof logical way of handling out of form players and bringing them right back at the beginning of their next purple patch. I am genuinely interested to know your thoughts on this.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 7, 2014, 10:28 GMT

    I think you have to look at the Flower era and for me it can be divided into 2 halves. In the 1st half (thereabouts) of his era England drew in SA, won in Aus and beat India 4-0.The only drawn series was in SA so I'd not call that a blemish. In the second half of his reign we had a great win in India but that for me was the only above par series result.Look at the other series and you have at least 4 poor/poorish series. Drawing in NZ (and lucky to draw) was poor as were the whitewashes at the hands of Aus and Pakistan and the 2-0 home defeat vs SA. On top of that the performances in SL and vs NZ and Aus at home were nothing to write home about either. After the 4-0 vs India we had a decent lead at the top of the ICC rankings - we still werent knocked off the top after the UAE debacle.We're now a massive 26 points behind SA & 10 points behind Ind in 2nd and 4 behind Aus who we were comfortably in front of pre series. So I'd hardly say calling for Flower to go as kneejerk

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 7, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    Not sure who should replace Flower but for me

    1 - He'd need to be more flexible with his tactics and have an onfield captain who can think on their feet a bit more 2- Our batting needs shaking up. I wonder if the flamboyance is being coached out of our test players? Obviously there needs to be some sort of modification but the mindset seems too defensive. 3- Someone who is not afraid to drop underperforming players no matter what they've achieved in the past esp when results are going against the team. There's nothing to say they cant come back into the side - soon after if their form merrits it. One thing I've always questioned is when a batsman looks hopelessly out of sorts for several games and the theory seems to be keep him in the side and let him play his way back into form. Surely the best way to go about it is for them to play their way back into form away from the pressure and away from the limelight and where it is not costing the team results?

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 7, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    Flower should go now.

    I like him as a person but he is SO rigid and England are SO rigid under him.

    Dont get me wrong. England achieved alot under him and probably peaked around 2010/11 when they drew in SA , won in Aus and beat India 5-0. His plans/theories/tactics worked very well back then but it seems that they are not now working. IMO teams are working out/ have worked out how to negate these tactics and surely when you're behind in a series you need to do something different. Aus playing Swann so positively was huge but England (by and large) showed nothing by way of intent in there batting. So my main issue is that they are totally unwilling to change their approch and you can bring in any captain but if Flower is pulling the strings then you have to have world beaters on top of their game all the time to follow just one gameplan and be consistent.They did well in India but there were big warning signs (esp re batting) in both NZ series and vs Aus in England

  • POSTED BY LeeHallam on | January 7, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    This was a more encouraging interview than those he gave earlier, which seemed to suggest just more of the same, in terms of approach. On selection they do need to get away from the habit of random selections made more in hope than expectation (Monty, Tremlet, Bresnan etc). They need to identify players or talent and character and stick by them as they develop, that is how they got Bell and, Cook and Broad among others. Calls for culls are pointless, half of Strauss's team has gone already. The core of Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Broad and Anderson must be retained until the other players have grown into their roles at least. Prior should be recalled, Bairstow is not his replacement, and Buttler is not ready yet, but if Prior fails in the summer, that should be it. Stokes, Ballance and Root should be back, Carberry is not the future. Borthwick should get a run, Sri Lanka and India would be a good test for him. And the other seamer, sort out Steven Finn!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 7, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    @ TheChap on (January 6, 2014, 15:53 GMT) Just 2 points to pick you up on 1 - Re Swann's ego not allowing him to be dropped so he retired - Wasn't Swann dropped vs SA and didn't retire? 2 - Re Tremlett - he took 4 wickets at 30 a piece. I don't think that's misfiring badly. In fact I'd say he did way better than I expected and was unlucky not to retain his place or at least get another go. Also Rankin should not be written off after one test - if he does the business at county level then he should be considered for future tests. Monty has been excellent in the past as part of a duel spin role but not as good as the lone spinner.Problem is who else is there? Kerrigan maybe? Swann leaves a big void

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 7, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    @sk12 on (January 6, 2014, 15:28 GMT) But then England were going into the return leg of the Ashes after winning the 1st leg 3-0 so should they not have had the momentum?. Australia won the 1st test by way of thrashing but better teams come back from it. Also the last Ashes down under was 2-1 going into the final test - so although the Ashes were already retained by England , Aus could have levelled the series and the previous Ashes (think it was 2009) in England is was 1-1 going into the final test. BTW appreciate your honesty but I reckon India are in a pretty good place right now

  • POSTED BY nlpdave on | January 7, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    Flower didn't build this team as most players were already in place. He has to go because the decline has been happening for well over a year and he is incapable of seeing things differently. Good to see that everything will be different but nothing will change. No honour or shame it seems, just like the interminably hopeless cricketing establishment. Self interest rules.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | January 7, 2014, 8:44 GMT

    @ JG2704: RE chest thumping Aussies. I agree. .. I can understand why some of my compadres let off a bit of steam at you Poms and I haven't got an unblemished record in that regard myself. I hope you can understand that. No offence, but some of your guys really laid into us so a little bit of tit-for-tat was inevitable. .. Having said all that I don't agree that we are "back". .. We're playing well at the moment but we're by no means a shoe in against SA or anybody else. I think we can do it, maybe, but bold predictions of huge success are just pipe dreams at this point.

  • POSTED BY Nishat_India on | January 7, 2014, 1:55 GMT

    Having Bresnan instead of a batsman cost England, especially when Stokes was already playing as an all rounder.

  • POSTED BY Little_Aussie_Battler on | January 7, 2014, 0:00 GMT

    For the people who would like to keep Flower on. The question begs, why wasn't he doing more to create effective bowling strategies and field placings than the ultra defensive, wide and short bowling that we witnessed for five tests? There was no improvement, just a continual decline.

    Time for a good old fashioned clean out in the England camp. Flower's Ashes wins were against a very badly run Australia don't forget. Now we are half decent England is getting completely obliderated. Cannot see England reclaiming the Ashes for many, many years to come if they continue doing nothing.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 6, 2014, 23:17 GMT

    Love the comms saying equating this Ashes victory meaning that the 2015 Ashes is already done and dusted. It's the same sort of silly comms saying that the Ashes in England were done and dusted (pre series) because of what happened to Aus in India. Of course Aus could go from strength to strength while English cricket sinks to lower depths but England have gone from whitewashing India at home to being whitewashed in UAE to losing to SA at home , to winning in India to scraping a draw in NZ and now being comprehensively whitewashed in Australia. Australia and India have had their ups and downs over recent years too. It's amazing how some folk forget the dark days when they're on top

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | January 6, 2014, 22:24 GMT

    @ TheChap: I'm sure you honestly believe in points 1 & 2 but if they are actually true then I'm afraid England is weak, wishy-washy and bordering on downright effeminate. Pretty much what Warner said. No offence, but maybe they should be having tea parties and playing with their dolls, not playing cricket against the grown ups.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 19:47 GMT

    I agree with TheChap 1, 2 and 3, 2 perhaps Bell, but Cook is not a test captain Panesar has never been a test cricketer, to be one one MUST be able to hold a bat! and not be a liability in the field!

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | January 6, 2014, 18:42 GMT

    In any walk of life jobs well done and jobs badly done carry their own reward and penalty. Yet we see the complacency of the England hierarchy in denying that real changes are necessary. We have played dull, spineless,pathetic,inept and above all tedious cricket. The worst thing was that England and Brisbane may have made of balsa wood or matchsticks. I seek explanation . Did they throw these games? whatever happened was an insult to all of us and themselves.Heads including Colliier's must roll.People have to accept responsibility and it is no good just sacking Rankin;. Flower, Cook must leave. We need answers, proper ,honest answers. Collier said there would be no report. Why not? somewhere there is something to be revealed.We need answers...fast. For a player to be scared of a coach,as reported elsewhere,is a fault of the coach,not the player. To pay for the entourage, ECB has failed to act wisely. Top to bottom clearout necessary. Why was this team so bad? Answers NOW!

  • POSTED BY RodStark on | January 6, 2014, 18:30 GMT

    I'm puzzled by everyone saying that Flower is incapable of rebuilding an England team that can be successful. That's exactly what he did do well after the Moores/KP nonsense.

  • POSTED BY shot274 on | January 6, 2014, 18:13 GMT

    I personally think that this summer, if SA were due for a 5 test series , Flower would have resigned. He knows that with SL and India in home conditions England have a very high chance of success. If and when they do succeed the fickle media will suggest that England have risen from the debacle of the Ashes. All will be forgotten and normal service will be resumed . To be frank there are only a handful of series' which are challenging. India, Pak and Aus at home and SA anywhere. Avoid these scenarios for a year or two and youre fine!

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | January 6, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    Flower is obviously not ready to quit his current job, hence, biding his time which I think is a huge mistake. It will be hard to match his heights as No.1 team again with a new look Eng team unless he can keep his job for next 6-7 years that this Eng team took under different coaches. That's why I like Gary Kirsten's decision when he quit as India coach at the height of their ascendency and hang around looking for income. My predictions is that as more and more losses pile under his stewardship, Eng authorities will eventually let him go.

  • POSTED BY gravapine on | January 6, 2014, 18:02 GMT

    Australian team is far from those glory days. But England doesn't deserve this drubbing. The players have let the team down. Losing is not a sin, but the way they lost is some thing that will hurt the people. I think that the English system lacks the mental strength of fighting back. They go into depression when things doesn't go their way and this creates panic in other players minds. Look at the way Trott and Swann departed in the middle of the series. It would have made a deep impact on the minds of other players. Flower should take notice of this and make such kind of players mentally strong.

  • POSTED BY Selassie-I on | January 6, 2014, 17:55 GMT

    I have a huge amount of respect for Flower and what he's done for English cricket, but you feel that something just isn't right in the camp at the moment - something does need to change and it looks like our approach has been found wanting here, either have to be a change of tac or a change of personnel, I don't think we're going to find better personnel so a change of approach it must be.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 6, 2014, 16:16 GMT

    @sk12 if you go through most series of last 3 years most tests series are out of 3.. I still think the ashes should be best of 5 it adds to the atmosphere look at the crowds through all 5 tests in this series. plus the record crowds watching on TV. Australia now travel to southafrica in a 3 test series..

  • POSTED BY TheChap on | January 6, 2014, 15:53 GMT

    Mistakes? Yes?

    1. England utterly shafted by the schedule of back-to-back Ashes series - tiredness, lack of motivation - deadly for any pro-sportsman. Played in to Oz hands and agave them distinct advantage. It should NEVER be allowed to happen again.

    2. Very poor schedule of tour fixtures agreed - against scratch sides, that's no prep for the likes Johnson, Harris and Siddle. Maybe England camp knew they didn't want to endure tough tour games?

    3. Selection mistakes - I think Panesar may well have played his last test, alongside Rankin sadly, Finn should have gone home when it was clear his head and therefore technique was awry, Tremlett was a gamble that mis-fired badly. Trott must have been giving out warning signs before flying out, so why did he go? Swann's ego wouldn't allow him to be dropped...so he retired. Onions left out.

    Solutions?

    1. Keep the head coach - he's world class

    2. Make Prior the skipper - he would thrive on it

    3. Recall Onions

  • POSTED BY MaruthuDelft on | January 6, 2014, 15:50 GMT

    Although Clarke is not so strong and his face smooth, he is a very aggressive character. England should find someone like him to lead. Aggression causes chaos and confusion in opposition until it is cornered. If you can get what you want before the opposition is cornered then the return/input ratio will be very high.

  • POSTED BY CricketMaan on | January 6, 2014, 15:35 GMT

    India 4-0 + 4-0 and then Aus 3-0 + 4-0 and England 3-0 (Pak) + 5-0. SL had a couple of 2-0 (i think) and may be Pak too. It's getting into a habit isnt it with these top test nations. SA have managed to stay away from such score lines. So none of these teams apart from SA are worth of their rankings. SA will be tested now by Aus. The question is can Haddin keep pulling out Aus out of trouble in 1st innings and can Mitch keep producing those bombs? I for sure know SA bowling is too hot for Aus top order.

  • POSTED BY The_other_side on | January 6, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    It has been a collective failure by England team and the series result 5-0 obviously reflected it. In as much as the team failed to deliver, I feel, Cook as a skipper was found wanting. The painful aspect of this series is not just the result- England failed to fight! While Clarke was constantly thinking of new ways, Cook was found to be less proactive. He let things drift, than taking affirmative action. I feel Cook should be monitored as well, as positive and inspiring captaincy from Clarke did make a difference.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 15:31 GMT

    Some people just don't realize when it's time to go.

    There is no more hunger left in this England team. That's why they lost. And Flower cannot do anything to bring back hunger.

    He should tuck his tail beneath his legs and resign in shame.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | January 6, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    Surprised that Flower is 'not proud of the result', because England have been banging on for years about 'leaving a legacy', in spite of results like getting whitewashed in the UAE, and getting whitewashed at home.

    And this recent Ashes humiliation, is a defeat of such ineptitude and cowardice sustained over an entire five Test series, nay not only sustained but increased in incompetence, that it is a legacy that will last for a generation. It may not be the legacy they meant to leave, but it's the legacy they deserved to leave.

  • POSTED BY sk12 on | January 6, 2014, 15:28 GMT

    @JG2704 - ya the schedule is the same but the team on the ascendency will always have that extra energy to last the distance, the beaten will team will just be counting the days left. Since 2000 I cant recall any series with the 5th game being the decider (excp 2005 ashes). and just fyi I am not english, am Indian.. a relieved Indian since the SA tour had just 2 matches that we escaped embarassment.. and a very worried Indian that there's a 5 match and 4 match Eng and Oz tour coming up later this year :(

  • POSTED BY dabbadubba on | January 6, 2014, 15:17 GMT

    Good.. now poms can begin to challenge NewZealand on the #8 position.. learn from other teams failures pommies,. India were 8-0 down.. got rid of all the their greats..took on a new look team and now they are again back at the top.. if we continue with same cook-flower combo..then #8 position in rankings is not far

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 15:16 GMT

    So England lurch on regardless with no change in management or direction. Good stuff. The environment is quite obviously not a relaxed place in which to work...unlike Australia under Boof. I fear England will slip to bottom in the rankings.

  • POSTED BY CodandChips on | January 6, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    @MarkTaffin pretty decent summary. But I think that Ballance is "up to it", and Borthwick in a year could be a decent all rounder.

  • POSTED BY MarkTaffin on | January 6, 2014, 13:12 GMT

    So, more of the same, then.

    Persevering with players past there best without the ability to identify they're done.

    Picking new players who are clearly not up to it. Who's advising on these player's ability?

    Ruining the odd new player who is any good. (Stokesy, ignore everything they tell you...)

    Ignoring players patently better than those in the squad just because "their faces don't fit"

    Happy days just round the corner. Not.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 6, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    @sk12 on (January 6, 2014, 9:22 GMT) It's exactly the same for both sides so I cant see any issue with this whatsoever. If one team had a longer break than the other then there may be a case but it's up to both teams to be prepared properly. It seems these days that whenever Eng lose we start talking about being undercooked or burnt out from the schedule - which we organise. The 1 player I remember saying about the schedule has played much less cricket over the past 18 months than any other Eng/Aus cricketer. If this is an issue then we should have NO test players playing the shorter formats. I wish we could just admit we were a load of rubbish and that maybe we are not as good as our media makes us out to be and that re our batsmen - maybe they sre not so good against live bowling attacks

  • POSTED BY DJRNZ on | January 6, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    England will be back. Had a shocker of a tour but got a lot of class in their team. Aussie just seemed so hell bent on winning and were so aggressive, I think that simply shocked England, particularly as Aussie maintained it over 5 tests. Got to look at England's record over the last few years, just because they had one terrible tour doesn't mean they need to make lots of changes. Enjoyed the series though. And as a Kiwi I can't beleive I feel this way but good to see Aussie win, they really deserved it.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 12:20 GMT

    "I think it's important that we review this logically and learn from some of the mistakes we've made"

    Absolutely. Analyse and come to conclusions and resolves for the future based on logic and calmness, not panic, football-style managerial sackings and "hatchet jobs". I hear a lot of tub thumping calls for sackings an resignations...you don't hear a lot about possible replacements for Flower and Cook. Until you find people who you think can do the job better and who will do it, then stop carping on about sackings.

  • POSTED BY Mervo on | January 6, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    Flower really should go. His time has past. He was a coach with plans and more plans and an attritional calculated style of cricket that limited the flexibility and instincts of his players. Other countries pay more aggressive cricket now and he can't match that. 5-0 is only the third time in history that this has happened to England and they need to take heed. Cook is fine but limited in imagination and inspiration as a captain. Flower may have been a good coach in the past, but a new approach is needed and he can't do that, even with more overseas players being recruited.

  • POSTED BY shot274 on | January 6, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    @ski22. Its an important issue. Im no longer sure what constitutes a series. Is a 2 test bash a series? I agree that after 2 tests the result in most of these contests is obvious and with so much cricket being played all across the world a 5 test series (and not just for neutral fans)often becomes tedious. I would say that all test series should be 3 matches but im afraid finances and earnings will never allow it. So Melbourne had record crowds after the series was done and dusted. Would it attract similar crowds if the current WI team were playing? Also the vast difference in tests played per year by different countries makes the ICC rankings a bit of a lottery.Especially nowadays with 1 day and t20 matches a 5 test tour with a dozen other short format games becomes a bit too much.

  • POSTED BY cloudmess on | January 6, 2014, 10:58 GMT

    I wouldn't expect Flower to quit - he's not the type. I've always liked him - he turned himself from a good to great batsmen (averaging higher as a wicketkeeper-batsman than Gilchrist). He publicly stood up to Robert Mugabe in his own country. As a coach, he then turned England into a world-class side. But something has gone wrong here, and it's more than just a few mistakes. The mindset is wrong. Think how badly Australia were playing a year ago with an over-bearing coach - and then look at how fresh and positive and competitive they've been in this series. You need the discipline and the hard-work and the analytical game-plans - but you also need someone to remove the fear, the pressure, and to tell you it's just a game, it's fun. I just don't think Flower yet knows how to do this. England seemed exhausted, over-anxious and beaten even before they took the field in Brisbane.

  • POSTED BY PeerieTrow on | January 6, 2014, 10:29 GMT

    Last time I checked there was nothing in the rules that said Australia aren't allowed to be better than England. Darren Lehmann has as good as admitted that the current Australian structure and approach are based on England's successful model. They were just better at it this time round. Inevitably there will be changes in both squads before the next encounter in 2015, but please let's drop the media headline driven 'heads must roll' mentality.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | January 6, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    Time to go if only for not seeing the writing on the wall in the England home Ashes, and also for not being aware of the seriousness of Trott's 'illness'.

  • POSTED BY woodgreen on | January 6, 2014, 9:46 GMT

    Warner got it right didnt he?Pretty weak England

  • POSTED BY liz1558 on | January 6, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    The ECB will need to do a hatchet job; if they don't England will lose to India at home and it will be a wasted summer. They need a new coach desperately because England are a much better side than this.

  • POSTED BY Adoh on | January 6, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    I thought reviews were only necessary when something unusual happened.

  • POSTED BY CodandChips on | January 6, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    Thanks Andy for all the success. It has been great. Thanks to all of the players who brought all of the success. However I feel that after a 5-0 thrashing, you have to make changes. Also we have not been great all of last year, including vs New Zealand. A fresh start in my opinion is needed.

  • POSTED BY sk12 on | January 6, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    As a side topic, does anyone else feel that these 4 and 5 test series should be abolished altogether? I just cannot buy in to the logic of visiting teams settling in only at 2nd or 3rd test thereby going them a chance to recover from the early loss of 1st test. It mighgt have been the case several years ago with long gaps between matches. But now with so many matches cramped together, no recovery time, little/no practise games, so much media pressure (Kimber has posted in another article about how poor Eng were during their trainign sessions!! - heck thats when players are supposed to try out things without bothering about looking stupid) - the team with momentum in the first couple pf games just whitewashes the series.. Very rarely has a team come back from 0-2 to draw/win that series. The difference between the teams just gets blown up and exploded as the series goes by. I would say just keep 3 test series. Its always better to leave the viewers wanting for more rather than less.

  • POSTED BY shot274 on | January 6, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    A debacle of this proportion and not a single resignation as a gesture of accountability! Perhaps there is too much money involved in these roles for old fashioned morality.

  • POSTED BY Rufus_Fuddleduck on | January 6, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    @AlSmug - don't you wish? However, things are going to be different in the next Ashes. Even right now it is stretching comfort to expect this Australian attack to go to England. There has to be cotton-wool treatment available for that to happen, and that's possible only when the batting gees up and gets 650-700 runs per Test.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | January 6, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    It's madness that he would be retained. Will a 1000 character limit here it isn't possible to detail why he shouldn't stay in the job but the summary of it is that the team has been in decline for a long time and he didn't notice. His continued selection of players out of form and on past glories combined with the continued non-selection of capable players is a telltale sign that he has been nowhere near as good a coach as people say he has. I mean the bowlers on this tour..... It's not just the thrashing here, it's the fact he didn't notice what was blatantly obvious to outsiders who don't get paid to manage a cricket team.

  • POSTED BY ashes_galore on | January 6, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    I really wonder whether Haddin will be around in 2015 and whether Harris would be able to play on the way he has. Both will be 37 by the time the next ashes series comes around. Could Mitchell Johnson maintain his form in England as he did here. All the talk about Australia being so good and England being poor could just mean that both Australia and England are strong at home and poor away. Australia last won the ashes away in 2001. England only did it once in the last 27 years away.

  • POSTED BY AlSmug on | January 6, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    As a passionate Australian cricket fan i hope Flower retains his spot as does all the current side, history has shown us that even champion sides have their used by date ,this mob are beyond it, please try and prove me wrong, lol

  • POSTED BY Rufus_Fuddleduck on | January 6, 2014, 7:28 GMT

    @dunger.bob - about pride and revenge ... there could be other factors at work, mainly brazenness. England's administrators are in their own bubble of reality or in denial, however you look at it. And so it suits them to say there's nothing seriously wrong and let's support the status quo. If they were to talk of surgery, they might perhaps qualify for the superfluous appendages. It's not the first time administration has ruined a good set-up, nor will it be the last. Not that Flower is necessarily rotten, but everyone needs to be accountable.

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | January 6, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    Why are some people so miserable when their plans don't work? Flower was all about how much hard work and discipline and preparation and all that they had put in when they won, but now with the same inputs, terrible results came!

    Too much analysis, and too much planning makes many sides unprepared for trouble and ensures a total flop when an honourable defeat could have been managed. England will need to soothe their nerves and relax, and not get into this new strategy business. There simply may not be so much skill at the disposal of this "greatest England side ever". Keep it simple, England. Your ranking is what it is.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    It was sad to see England bursting from the seam, mentally destroyed by the Aussies. All the smartness and verbal mastery of people like Swan came to naught. When we could see it coming after first two tests and how the team was dismantling, why the ECB and team management didn't see it? Why they didn't act immediately to stop the slide rather than suffering a 5-0 humiliations? In the end we could see a strong person like KP under tremendous mental stress in the last test.

  • POSTED BY MaruthuDelft on | January 6, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    Just make county cricket crickets equivalent to premier league. Make the world's best play county cricket. Saturday to Tuesday Championship games until Mid August. Teus, Wed and Thur rest. 17 counties. Just 16 games for each county. Play 50 overs and T20 from mid Aug to Sept. To qualify playing for the lucrative 50 overs and T20s players should qualify through Championship games. Selectors just have to pick the ones who scored more or got more wickets.

  • POSTED BY IndianEagle on | January 6, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    what a shame and eng deserved this whitewash. Sachin beater scored at avg of 25. World's best swing bowler failed in swinging conditions.

  • POSTED BY Uppercut07 on | January 6, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    again with the ERA talk! 2009-2013 DOES NOT make an ERA!!

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | January 6, 2014, 6:35 GMT

    I hope it's not just his pride keeping him there. It's hard to say which is the worst motivation, pride or revenge. Both usually end in tears in my limited experience.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | January 6, 2014, 6:19 GMT

    how are England 4th in the rankings? shouldn't they be 6th or 7th?

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | January 6, 2014, 6:18 GMT

    lovely news. nice to know the ashes wont be going anywhere for a long long loing time, if ever.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 6:18 GMT

    Good news is just around the corner for the English. Guess who they get to play next at the start of the English summer? India led by its pace spearhead Ishant Sharma! Every Bell, Trott and Cook will roar back in to form!

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 5:53 GMT

    Ashes was bad for England but the ridiculous thing is all the oundits are asking for Carberry to be sacked even though he is ? 2nd highest scorer in the series, because he is 35 + ? Ridiculous, why select him in the first place then ? For one series ? Why drop Compton ? Root is the favoutite, but completely overrated. England will be fine. They will happily beat Sri Lanka in a few months when Jimmy will swing his deliveries under overcast "line and length" English conditions and then will porbably hammer India too. KP, Bell, Stokes, Cook all will get lots of hundreds. Ashes 5-0 will be forgotten. Ray

  • POSTED BY Cantbowlcantbat on | January 6, 2014, 5:36 GMT

    Wonderful news for Oz and its chances of retaining the Ashes in England in 2015. Hopefully, by that time the new revamped England side will be just as stifled and afraid to play aggressively as the current side has been. I think staying with Flower and Cook will only hasten the retirement of KP who, even though currently out of form, is an England player who can turn a game around with his aggressive tactics.

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | January 6, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    One can understand Flower's wish to stay on until things have been put right. He was a fine a cricketer and plainly is a highly motivated individual, but what are his plans for the future and how does he see himself playing a part? Does he intend to adopt a business as usual approach? Will he decide to hold the wheel even more firmly or will he relax his grip? International cricketers are adults, not children, and adopting a schoolmasterly method is sure to grate on the players, most of whom will also have substantial egos (really a prerequisite for a top sportsman) and strong ideas about what constitutes a good coach. Swann comes to mind immediately, plainly very much his own man and likely to chafe under strict supervision. Sometimes the same ego and focus that makes the elite sportsman what he is can blind him to what is plain to see for others. Is Flower wanting to stay so as not to leave on a low? Does he REALLY know why he wants to stay?

  • POSTED BY adeng on | January 6, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    No doubt this Ashes was a total disaster, but I have always thought it strange how quick the English were to give up on a coach or captain after a defeat. I am not only talking about cricket - also rugby union and football. This man has indeed led England to great heights, surely he must have been doing something right in the past and can do it again? I have also never understood the resignation of especially English captains when things were going against them in a series (notably vs SA) - if they cannot pick themselves up from adversary, surely they weren't the right men for the job in the first place?

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    Flower's role is obvious and he is the right person for tha, no doubt on that. But Cook? ECB might have to rethink on that..

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    Flower's role is obvious and he is the right person for tha, no doubt on that. But Cook? ECB might have to rethink on that..

  • POSTED BY adeng on | January 6, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    No doubt this Ashes was a total disaster, but I have always thought it strange how quick the English were to give up on a coach or captain after a defeat. I am not only talking about cricket - also rugby union and football. This man has indeed led England to great heights, surely he must have been doing something right in the past and can do it again? I have also never understood the resignation of especially English captains when things were going against them in a series (notably vs SA) - if they cannot pick themselves up from adversary, surely they weren't the right men for the job in the first place?

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | January 6, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    One can understand Flower's wish to stay on until things have been put right. He was a fine a cricketer and plainly is a highly motivated individual, but what are his plans for the future and how does he see himself playing a part? Does he intend to adopt a business as usual approach? Will he decide to hold the wheel even more firmly or will he relax his grip? International cricketers are adults, not children, and adopting a schoolmasterly method is sure to grate on the players, most of whom will also have substantial egos (really a prerequisite for a top sportsman) and strong ideas about what constitutes a good coach. Swann comes to mind immediately, plainly very much his own man and likely to chafe under strict supervision. Sometimes the same ego and focus that makes the elite sportsman what he is can blind him to what is plain to see for others. Is Flower wanting to stay so as not to leave on a low? Does he REALLY know why he wants to stay?

  • POSTED BY Cantbowlcantbat on | January 6, 2014, 5:36 GMT

    Wonderful news for Oz and its chances of retaining the Ashes in England in 2015. Hopefully, by that time the new revamped England side will be just as stifled and afraid to play aggressively as the current side has been. I think staying with Flower and Cook will only hasten the retirement of KP who, even though currently out of form, is an England player who can turn a game around with his aggressive tactics.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 5:53 GMT

    Ashes was bad for England but the ridiculous thing is all the oundits are asking for Carberry to be sacked even though he is ? 2nd highest scorer in the series, because he is 35 + ? Ridiculous, why select him in the first place then ? For one series ? Why drop Compton ? Root is the favoutite, but completely overrated. England will be fine. They will happily beat Sri Lanka in a few months when Jimmy will swing his deliveries under overcast "line and length" English conditions and then will porbably hammer India too. KP, Bell, Stokes, Cook all will get lots of hundreds. Ashes 5-0 will be forgotten. Ray

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 6:18 GMT

    Good news is just around the corner for the English. Guess who they get to play next at the start of the English summer? India led by its pace spearhead Ishant Sharma! Every Bell, Trott and Cook will roar back in to form!

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | January 6, 2014, 6:18 GMT

    lovely news. nice to know the ashes wont be going anywhere for a long long loing time, if ever.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | January 6, 2014, 6:19 GMT

    how are England 4th in the rankings? shouldn't they be 6th or 7th?

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | January 6, 2014, 6:35 GMT

    I hope it's not just his pride keeping him there. It's hard to say which is the worst motivation, pride or revenge. Both usually end in tears in my limited experience.

  • POSTED BY Uppercut07 on | January 6, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    again with the ERA talk! 2009-2013 DOES NOT make an ERA!!