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Flower wants to see next generation flourish

Andy Flower speaks about England's loss at Melbourne and looks forward to the Sydney Test

By Rob Barnett

Team director Andy Flower is as excited as he says any coach would be at the prospect of building an England Test side around its emerging youngsters.

Flower, who has held the role since early 2009, has overseen the evolution of an England team that won three Ashes series and rose to number one in the Test rankings.

The current Ashes defeat Down Under could lead to more changes to personnel than the retirement of spinner Graeme Swann necessitates.

However, with the likes of Durham batsman and slow bowler Scott Borthwick coming through to potentially join youngsters Joe Root and Ben Stokes as Test regulars, Flower is optimistic about England’s future with Alastair Cook as captain.

Durham batsman and spinner Scott Borthwick, pictured, is one of the crop Andy Flower said "any coach would be excited working with"

"I think the prospect of building a new, successful England side would excite any coach," he said today in Melbourne.

"The England job is one of the bigger jobs in international cricket, and I'm very proud to have been a part of it so far.

"I think any coach would be excited working with players like Root and Stokes – and we've got a youngster in Borthwick that's just been added to the squad as well.

"That’ll be exciting for our coaches. We've seen a little bit of talent, and a little bit of the future, in those players.

"I know Alastair and I will work hard to get the most out of those young guys, and work together for the betterment of English cricket."

Flower and Cook’s immediate focus is the Sydney Test, in which the tourists will be desperate to avoid a series whitewash.

Before that game starts on Friday, Flower will likely meet with incoming Managing Director – England Cricket Paul Downton.

Downton will succeed Hugh Morris on February 1 and is in Australia preparing for his new role.

Flower said: “We’ve had a lot of good times as an England side and we’ve enjoyed those. And this is a tough time now that we’ve got to go through.

“The guys are fighting, not fighting well enough obviously. Our batting over the four Tests has generally let us down.

“When I examine my role in the tour, I ask myself tough questions.

"But my focus at the moment is the Sydney Test match ... we've got the opportunity of two days’ preparation to get into as good and positive a state of mind as possible to take on that challenge of the fifth Test."

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