Flower orders quick course in handling spin
As coaches often find to their cost, if there is one thing worse than making mistakes it is refusing to learn from them. Andy Flower has therefore proposed England go on what amounts to a rapid skills development course to play spin in Asia.
With two away Test series this year – in Sri Lanka next month and in India in November – the team's batsmen can expect an ordeal by slow-turning torture following their lamentable deficiencies in the series against Pakistan, which finished on Monday in a resounding 3-0 whitewash for the world's No 1 team.
The one-day batsmen will have to acquire knowledge on the hoof during the series against Pakistan which starts on Monday. Given that the opposition are likely to field four slow bowlers of various types and pedigree, there can be no more intensive tutorial.
But two of the probable team in Sri Lanka, Andrew Strauss, the captain, and Ian Bell, are no longer in the limited-overs party. In a sign that the selectors will not be pushed into making knee-jerk changes, they will almost certainly go to Sri Lanka ahead of their colleagues to try to adjust to conditions and work on new methods to approach a puzzle that England have not come close to solving.
The details have yet to be finalised but Flower is clear that something has to be done and quickly. "Looking at the lessons in preparation for the tour of the UAE, we are going to have slightly different preparation for the Sri Lanka and India tours which I can't give details about," he said. "It is nothing fancy, just a skeleton plan at the moment which has not been signed. Strauss and Bell will be doing something before the Sri Lanka tour."
Bell and Eoin Morgan were made odds-on to be dropped for Sri Lanka after Monday's defeat by 71 runs in the third Test but both may survive.
The mood emanating from the selectors is that while the Pakistan series was catastrophic the same players had taken all before them in the previous 18 months. It is a reasonable point enhanced by the fact that there are few other options. Flower has faith in his men. "I do because they are good players, they have operated under pressure in all sort of conditions," he said.
"What they have to do is adapt their games to a game that will succeed against these types of bowler in these conditions, they have shown they can do that before but they are going to have to do so very quickly in this one-day series."
Another pertinent point, of course, is that Sri Lanka may prepare the pitches but they no longer have the high-quality spinners to take full advantage of them. England will play England Lions tomorrow in the only practice match before the one-day series. Any slow men around will get a game.
England vs India report: England expects as Bell, Ballance and Buttler make B-line for victory
Louis van Gaal says he is inheriting a 'broken' Manchester United squad
Luckless Abou Diaby full of confidence as he attempts yet another Arsenal comeback
Manchester City's #AskJesus Twitter takeover quickly descends into chaos as Premier League champions are trolled relentlessly
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan