England progress pleases Flower
Andy Flower wraps up the week-long trip to Dubai
Team director Andy Flower claims England’s Twenty20 displays against Pakistan prove they are heading the right direction - but insists they have much work to do before they reach the top.
It needed a blistering unbeaten 46 off 18 balls from Abdul Razzaq yesterday to earn Pakistan a share of the two-match series, England having recorded a convincing seven-wicket win in the opening game in Dubai 24 hours earlier.
There were a host of plus points for England, from Eoin Morgan’s sensational unbeaten 67 on Friday, Kevin Pietersen’s tally of 105 runs in two games, Graeme Swann’s five wickets and two energetic and largely error-free performances in the field.
Although England have struggled to find a successful formula in the shortest form of the game, Flower took much heart from more than matching the current World Twenty20 champions.
“We played some really good cricket; we showed that we can be successful in this form of the game,” he told ECBtv.
“It was nice seeing Pietersen come back to some form - and dominate and attack like we’re used to him doing.
“Morgan played superbly in the first game, Swann was impressive in both games, and our seamers were impressive as well, so a lot of good came out of it.
“They were two very good games of cricket; there are still large areas that we can improve on, though.”
England flew to Dhaka today to prepare for the three-match one-day series against Bangladesh, with England Lions star Craig Kieswetter in tow after being added to the squad.
Although England will play no more competitive 20-over contests before the World Twenty20 gets under way in the Caribbean in April, Flower claims opportunities for players such as Kieswetter to catch the eye have not passed.
“It’s still a limited-overs form of the game; there’s still time for people to impress in Bangladesh,” Flower added.
“I’ve got my own ideas and (Twenty20 captain) Collingwood and the selectors will have their own. We’ve got to name the 30 pretty soon and then we’ll whittle that down.”
South Africa-born Kieswetter, who qualified to play for England only this week, is expected to challenge for a place in that provisional squad, having been tracked by the hierarchy for some time.
Flower said: “Our selectors were watching him during the last English summer and were impressed by the way he played. We had our eye on him - we knew what type of player he was.
“He has worked very hard on his game. Physically he’s changed - he’s put in some hard work and he looks fit and strong now.
“He’s definitely pushing Matt Prior for a place. The fact that he scores quickly and he’s good striker of the ball makes him a strong candidate.
“He looks a very talented player: a hard hitter of the ball and a very exciting player at the top of the order. Having a look at him prior to the Twenty20 World Cup is definitely the right thing to do.”
The new Brit Insurance 2010-11 official England Cricket Team kit will be available to pre order from April 1 via ecb.co.uk, and in store from April 29