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Flower ready for anything

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

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Andy Flower

Andy Flower, in Delhi while England await their quarter-final fate, claims they will deal with whatever conditions they come up against

England can put all the qualification nerves behind them and start planning for the World Cup quarter-finals.

South Africa's demolition of Bangladesh today meant there was inappropriately swift and decisive confirmation that they will be in the last eight, at odds with the unpredictable progress they have made over the past three weeks.

England will still not know for sure until tomorrow evening whom they will be playing and where.

But those details are not about to keep team director Andy Flower awake tonight, because he is confident his team will be ready for their next assignment when the time comes.

With India favourites to beat West Indies tomorrow, England are likely to remain in third place in Group B and thus secure a quarter-final clash with Group A runners-up Sri Lanka in Colombo. If West Indies win, England will meet Group A winners Pakistan in Dhaka.

Flower, however, insisted: "We don't have a preference. Whatever conditions are thrown our way, whichever opposition, we'll deal with it.

"As soon as we know where we're going and who we're playing, we'll focus our preparation on beating them."

England’s six-wicket victory over the Netherlands in their World Cup opener, completed with a mere eight balls to spare, was the least tense finish to their six group games.


Another day, another thriller as England beat West Indies in Chennai. "It has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride so far," admitted Flower

Flower today added his name to the list of players who have already called for more consistency, admitting he would have preferred a more convincing passage into the knockout stages.

"It would have been great to have been more dominant,” he said. “But I'm not looking backwards now; we're looking forwards to the quarter-final.

"We haven't been consistent, there's no getting away from that. We'd love more consistent and dominant performances."

The fine-tuning to underpin that necessary improvement will begin once England fly south on Monday from a weekend holding camp in Delhi to their knockout destination.

In the meantime, downtime is being punctuated by a watching brief of events elsewhere on television.

The players stayed in their rooms to witness South Africa triumph by 206 runs today, and will doubtless do likewise when Chennai hosts India and West Indies tomorrow.

"It's great to be through," said Flower. "There have been a number of ups and downs, and so far. It has been tense and exciting.

"There are certainly all sorts of emotions that have been running through the dressing room.

"But the players have done really well to hold themselves in pressure situations, none more so than the last game (against West Indies) when they scrapped and they fought and did everything they could to win."

James Anderson was rested for that must-win match, having struggled for form in the World Cup following a demanding winter in Australia.

While Anderson, who Flower revealed has “a couple of little niggles”, may return for the quarter-final, the latest addition to the England squad may also come into contention.

Jade Dernbach

Jade Dernbach will join the England squad shortly, having won his call-up on the back of favourable reviews from the Lions staff

Jade Dernbach, this week named as the replacement for the injured Ajmal Shahzad, will link up with the squad at their next port of call after cutting short his England Lions commitments in the Caribbean.

"He's had a strenuous winter," Flower said of Anderson. "It has certainly brought home the lesson that we have to manage and look after our fast bowlers well.

"I think with the schedule and the workload on our fast-bowling resources, we will have to bring in a clearer rotation policy.”

As for Dernbach, Flower added: "The reports coming back from the Lions management and coaches are all glowing. He has a variety to his bowling that we think might be useful out here.

"He's got a little more pace than one or two others, a good slower ball - and we think he might be an attacking option out here."

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