Flower picks out batting woes

  • Last Updated: December 17 2013, 8:19 GMT

England team director Andy Flower admitted the tourists have "underperformed badly" with the bat after losing their grip on the Ashes in Perth.

Flower picks out batting woes

Australia completed a 150-run triumph on the final day of the third Test at the WACA to go 3-0 up in the five-match series and regain the Ashes.

Flower praised opposite number Darren Lehmann for helping turn Australia's fortunes around after they had lost 3-0 in England in the summer.

He also, however, singled out England's lack of runs as a key factor in results, pointing to their inability to handle the pace of Mitchell Johnson and the accuracy of fellow seamers Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle.

"If I'm being totally honest, I'd have to give a lot of credit to the Australians for the way they've regrouped after the English summer," he told Sky Sports. "In fact, they started rebuilding during that series.

"Darren Lehmann and the captain must take a lot of credit for the way they have re-jigged things and got their side into an aggressive frame of mind.

"They've also performed very skilfully with the ball, keeping our guys under pressure throughout

"I think it's fair to say that with the bat we've underperformed badly. We've only got one Test century to think seven of theirs. And that's from a young all-rounder playing in his second Test match (Ben Stokes).

"We haven't handled the pace that well. And I think the pace of Johnson has been really well backed up by Harris and Siddle - they've been accurate and skilful - and the off-spinner (Nathan Lyon) has bowled nicely, too.

"The combination of the extra pace and some skilful back-up has not allowed us off the hook."

Flower rejected suggestions England had underestimated their opponents in any way, while also offering a straight bat to a question regarding his own future beyond the next two Tests, which take place in Melbourne and Sydney.

"Any touring side that comes to Australia knows it's going to be a tough tour," the former Zimbabwe international said.

"We've always come here with that knowledge. When we came here in 2010 we came with the same knowledge - we played some outstanding cricket to win that series

"I don't think we've underestimated them - they have just played some outstanding cricket to beat us as soundly as they have."

Asked about his career plans beyond the tour, he added: "We've got two Test matches left in this series and I'm absolutely hungry to do well in those. That is as far as I'm looking at the moment."

The one bright spot in defeat in the third Test was a maiden century from all-rounder Stokes in just his second Test appearance.

The left-hander made 120 before falling to spinner Nathan Lyon in England's second innings. From then on it became a victory procession for Australia, as they claimed the last four wickets for 17 runs.

"I felt he handled himself really well in Adelaide in some pretty intense situations, and then done brilliantly here," Flower said of Stokes.

"It was a superb knock. He showed a lot of maturity and a lot of talent. He looked good with the ball as well. He's only two Tests into his career, but that was a brilliant performance from him."


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