Flower quick to defend petulant England

 

Mumbai

It is one thing to lose, it is another to lose badly.

While it would be wrong to imply that England were a mutinous, ill-tempered rabble as they lost the match and the one-day series to India on Thursday, nor did they conduct themselves with composure or probity.

Petulance mounted as India's innings wore on and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, once more the cause of their downfall, pointed as much out afterwards. What stared England in the face, except defeat, was that their much-vaunted unity was a result of winning which might fracture in defeat.

The all-rounder, Tim Bresnan, was fined 7.5 per cent of his match fee for showing dissent to the umpire when he grabbed his cap, which was not so much a slap across the wrist as a gentle stroking. But everywhere except the referee's room it was the behaviour of other England players, towards each other, that was the subject of discussion. Mistakes happen in cricket matches, as in all games, all walks of life, but in the heat of several moments during the third one-day international, England's players looked as though they detested each other.

Andy Flower, the team's measured coach who knows the dressing room better than anybody, declined to see it that way yesterday. "I think one reason for our success over the past couple of years is that players set very high standards," he said. "They challenge each other. We try to ensure that we have a culture of openness and honesty when we review situations and I think that has been part of our strength.

"I would also say there is a balance to be found and our side like any side is not perfect and we were all trying to improve each other in all sorts of ways and sometimes we get that balance right and sometimes slightly wrong."

Was the Chandigarh Stadium on Thursday night a case of England getting it wrong? "It could be an example, yes. Our guys have driven themselves and each other to some incredible results over the past couple of years and they do set themselves very high standards so I think people should not get too carried away with their criticism in this regard." Flower said that the match referee Roshan Mahanama spoke to both sides after the second match in Delhi and said he was right to do so. But if he was disturbed by some of the side's antics he was not letting on.

Jade Dernbach, an inexperienced fast bowler whose star has risen swiftly, was especially volatile after errors were made off his bowling and Craig Kieswetter, the wicketkeeper-batsman who had a moderate night in both disciplines, at one stage swept a stump out of the ground in annoyance.

"I think the officials are there to ensure that sporting conduct occurs," he said. "If the game wasn't being played in the right way it's their job to step in. As I say in the main I am very proud of the way our team behaves and I think we conduct ourselves the way we should in international cricket."

There are two matches to go and nothing has happened so far that a win will not rectify. But having suffered two sizeable defeats and then a much closer one by five wickets, it will be hard for England to come back. What happens now is a test for the team and for the fledgling captaincy of Alastair Cook.

One question being persistently floated yesterday was whether such behaviour would have occurred under Andrew Strauss's leadership. Not many suggested that it would.

Suggested Topics
News
news
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Sport
sport
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 Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all