Flower's Ashes warning: We've won nothing yet

Coach hails 'perfect' performance but reminds players there is a long way to go

With expectations never as great since Philip Pirrip was a lad, it was time for England to draw breath yesterday. Yes, said their eternally pragmatic coach, Andy Flower, they had won a magnificent victory against Australia, but no, they had not succeeded in anything so far.

This was precisely the response that could have been anticipated from the man whose reaction to winning the Ashes at home in 2009 was: "It has worked out OK but we don't want to go overboard." If that was how he felt with the terracotta urn safely ensnared he was hardly going to jump in the deep end after one measly Test match, never mind that it was the most complete and satisfying of victories by an innings and 71 runs.

The only diving in celebration of the victory was left to Paul Collingwood who ran to the middle of the Adelaide Oval which was by then under water two hours after the win on Tuesday. Wearing only his underpants he swallow-dived into the rapidly forming lake on the pitch.

Flower was less exultant. "From anyone's point of view it was satisfying," he said. "The players are proud of the way they performed in that Test and rightly so and so are we as a coaching group. It was a superb effort. You don't often get a perfect game like that, do you, where you bowl the opposition out on a good deck on the first day, then get a big lead and bowl them out again before you have to bat again. So it was lovely.

"You can't say we have succeeded in anything so far, we're 1-0 up and there are three matches to go. What I will say is that our guys are delivering their skills under pressure and that is the challenge every game."

England arrived in here in Melbourne yesterday for a three-day tour match against Victoria due to start tomorrow morning in the early hours UK time at the MCG. It is already in some doubt because of the volume of rain that has fallen in the city in the last week and was still sheeting down yesterday, having followed England from Adelaide.

The tourists will be keen to put the three reserve fast bowlers through their paces as one of them must replace Stuart Broad in the XI for the third Test in Perth a week today. Broad is out for the rest of the series and Jimmy Anderson has gone home for four days to attend the birth of his second child. He is expected to arrive back in Perth next Tuesday after the rest of his colleagues.

Andrew Strauss will lead the side and although Flower refused to give any clues, the batsmen most likely to have a rest are Alastair Cook after Test innings of 67, 235 not out and 148, and Jonathan Trott.

In an exemplary team performance at Adelaide it was Graeme Swann who finished Australia off as he did at The Oval last year in the Test which decided the Ashes. There is no question that his influence on the course of events in the next few weeks could be decisive.

His 5 for 91 in Australia's second innings in Adelaide has taken him to 60 wickets in 12 Tests this year, more than any other player in the world and 12 more than his nearest rival, who is Anderson. On six occasions he has taken five wickets in an innings. And they said finger spin was dead.

"I think he is an outstanding bowler, an outstanding competitor," said Flower. "You can't get away from results and he has been producing results for us on a consistent basis."

Flower played against Swann many times a few years ago and spotted something then. But he has developed a different type of game, as a clever, cunning manipulator of a cricket ball and of batsmen, quite at odds with the cheeky chappie image.

"He always had lots of energy on the ball, that's what I remember about him and therefore got the ball to drift or dip a little and spin," said Flower. "Some of the other stuff he has acquired now, his patience, discipline, nous. He is quite a canny operator now. In amongst all the jokes et cetera he's quite a smart cookie so he brings a lot to us.

"He's really good for our dressing room because it's not exactly the rowdiest in the world and he's a good guy to have around. We want people to influence our dressing room in a positive way, in their own way and he does that. He's very much his own man." And he is very much England's man.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions