Flower expects Anderson to be fit for Ashes

England team director Andy Flower today declared himself confident James Anderson would be fit for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane on November 25.

Seamer Anderson cracked a rib during the side's recent training camp in Germany but is already bowling again and could even be involved in two of the warm-up games Down Under.



"He's already bowling at 75%, so he should be fine for the first Test," Flower said this afternoon.



"More than likely, he'll be okay for two of those warm-up games."

Anderson was injured during England's training camp in Bavaria this month while boxing against an unnamed team-mate - reportedly Chris Tremlett.

Despite the setback, Flower had no regrets over the controversial camp.



"No, none at all," he said.



"It's was an excellent camp, actually, and I think the players and management that were involved in it did things that they might never have done before in their lives and might never do again, and it was a very healthy experience."



Flower was also unconcerned about star batsman Kevin Pietersen, who has not scored a Test century since March 2009 and was forced to apologise for an expletive-laden rant on Twitter upon being dropped by the one-day side.



Pietersen joined South African side Kwazulu Natal Dolphins in bid to rediscover his form but made 36 and a second-ball duck in his two first-class innings.



Flower said: "He's very well; he enjoyed his trip to South Africa; and he's in a very good state of mind ready for the tour.



"He didn't get many opportunities (for Natal). Unfortunately, the way the games panned out, he only got one innings in each game.



"But he did some really good work with the Natal side and I think it would've stood him in good stead.



"He feels good about his cricket; he feels confident going into Australia."

England will head to Australia above their arch-rivals in the Test rankings following the latter's series defeat in India.

But Flower questioned whether that made his side favourites, saying: "I'm not sure that it is the case.



"I think they are fairly evenly-matched sides.



"We're playing Australia in Australia, where they've got a very good record.



"We respect the opposition, but we don't fear them.



"We're very confident about our own side and it should be a very exciting series to be involved in and for people to watch."



Shrugging off the impact of Australia's performances in India, Flower added: "The conditions are very different to the ones that we will face in Australia.



"That series will mean very little come the Brisbane Test.



"We obviously watch our opposition and we analyse them - and that's important for our preparation.



"This series is a totally different series but we're confident going into it."

Refusing to comment on the pressure on under-fire Australia captain Ricky Ponting, Flower was also unconcerned about any momentum loss England might have suffered since their last competitive match a month ago.

"There are all sorts of things spoken about momentum," he said.



"Our form's been good, our team feels confident, and we understand the challenge of going to Australia and beating Australia out there."



However, Flower has learnt the lessons from predecessor Duncan Fletcher's ill-advised lack of meaningful warm-up games during England's 5-0 whitewash Down Under four years ago.



"I think those three first-class games we play are going to be very important for our preparation," Flower said.



"The Brisbane test historically is important as a tone-setter for series in Australia.



"The three first-class games are important for our batsmen to get into form, our bowlers to do enough work that they are ready to attack from ball one in Brisbane and to get up to speed with Australian conditions, the heat, the pitches, the different ball.



"In all sorts of ways, they are very important."

Flower revealed he already had a starting XI in his mind for the first Test but insisted that could change.

"We are fairly clear with what we want," said Flower, who will rotate his squad during the warm-up matches but admitted he could not promise everyone a game.



"There is still flexibility for decisions based on confidence, form or any variety of conditions we'll come across."



That may or may not include playing both Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar during the tour.



"I'd be surprised if we came across a pitch that we judge as turning that much that we'd want to play two spinners," said Flower, speaking on the day when the England and Wales Cricket Board announced 33,000 coaches had graduated from the Sky Sports ECB Coach Education Programme since its 2006 launch.



"I think one of our strengths is our spin department. But if those conditions are presented to us, that's an option."











News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments