Ashes 2013: Andy Flower and England to ride wave of emotion against Australia
Coach wants players to follow their hearts in first Test after naming Onions in 13-man squad
Monday 08 July 2013
Andy Flower believes the wave of emotion generated by an Ashes contest can carry England to victory over Australia at Trent Bridge.
The first Test starts in Nottingham on Wednesday and Flower, who is, outwardly, one of the most steely and level-headed figures, is happy for his players to follow their hearts as well as their heads.
These matches are remembered for the quality and drama of the cricket but also for the verbal battles between the sets of players at the moments of greatest tension. As team director, Flower’s job will be to know when to fire up certain players for the joust and when to compose others.
“Remaining calm and logical is important, but emotions play a big part in all our lives,” said Flower. “They play a significant part in this competition and series, which is part of what makes it really exciting.
“My job is to prepare the guys and get them to optimum readiness to compete. For some guys, that means geeing them up; for others, it means calming them down.”
England have named a 13-man squad for the match, with Steven Finn, Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions fighting for the final place in the bowling attack alongside Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann.
Broad insists he is fully fit after having a cortisone injection to treat a problem in his right shoulder last Monday, but Flower will want to see the 27-year-old complete a full practice session to be reassured.
The decision to discard Nick Compton after the Test series against New Zealand means Joe Root will be captain Alastair Cook’s opening partner, with Kevin Pietersen returning to the team at four and Jonny Bairstow at six.
After an impressive winter in which they won in India and drew in New Zealand, England’s target is, ultimately, to regain top spot in the world Test rankings, which South Africa seized last summer with their 2-0 series win in this country.
Their cause would be helped substantially by commanding victories both in this Ashes series and the five Tests that follow in Australia between November and January.
Flower continued: “One of our principles is constant improvement and we have some areas in which we can improve. We have had various discussions but we will tie up the real specifics at Trent Bridge.
“We have been preparing for this series as we would for any other and I think the players are match-hardened. This bunch of cricketers have adapted well in various conditions.
“They did so in India last winter, they have fought a number of campaigns together and they have won a lot together, so that should give them confidence.”
England squad for first test
Age - Tests - Runs - Ave.
A N Cook (c) 28 92 7,52449.17
J E Root 22 6 424 42.40
I J L Trott 32 43 3,451 50.01
K P Pietersen 33 94 7,49949.01
J M Bairstow 23 8 341 31.00
M J Prior (wkt) 31 67 3,680 44.33
Age Tests Wkts Ave.
T T Bresnan 28 18 57 32.54
S C J Broad 27 57 195 30.93
G P Swann 34 52 222 28.50
S T Finn 24 22 88 28.73
J M Anderson 30 82 307 30.14
G Onions 30 9 32 29.90
* First Test 10-14 July (Trent Bridge)
Second Test 18-22 July (Lord’s)
Third Test 1-5 Aug (Old Trafford)
Fourth Test 9-13 Aug (Chester-Le-St)
Fifth Test 21-15 Aug (The Oval)
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
David Gold furious after Carlton Cole parody account mocks up a picture of West Ham chairman as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 3 Why are UK rail fares so expensive?
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head