Blossoming England enthuses Flower

Andy Flower is delighted with England's progress in one-day cricket

Andy Flower is delighted with England's progress in one-day cricket

First published in National Sport © by

England can switch attentions from NatWest Series success back to Test cricket, with a glowing endorsement from coach Andy Flower that they remain on an upward curve in all formats.

England are up to third in the International Cricket Council world rankings after their 4-0 win over top-of-the-table Australia, and Flower is especially encouraged to conclude lessons have been learned from previous experience, notably adaptable batsmanship against the spin which undermined England in their own 5-0 one-day international defeat away to India last autumn.

"I'm really happy not only with the result but with the way we played," said Flower on the day after England completed their trouncing of Australia with a seven-wicket win under lights at Old Trafford.

"It's important sometimes when you lose to evaluate yourself and how you played as well, and then the same when you win.

"Our batsmen have scored consistently and skilfully, and our bowlers have not only restricted Australia but have been able to take wickets.

"So the one-day package looked strong and organised and very well led by Alastair Cook, I thought."

England's batsmen tamed both a much-hyped Australia pace attack and the first and second-string spin of Xavier Doherty, opposing captain Michael Clarke, David Hussey and Steve Smith.

The threat posed by them, in familiar rather than sub-continental conditions, may be reduced from that of India and Pakistan's spin exponents last winter.

Flower said: "Certainly our guys are more adept at home conditions, of course, like most countries. But I also think we have learned some lessons, and players been good enough to continue their learning as individuals. It's been really nice to see how some of them are developing.

"If you look at the skill, some of it we have against their spinners - and last night is a good example of that. The way that (Ravi) Bopara, Cook, (Ian) Bell - not (just) last night but through the series - have played their spinners, one really exciting aspect we could identify is the fact that experienced cricketers are continually learning."

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