We've achieved nothing - Flower
Andy Flower spoke to ECBtv after reaching the World T20 final
Team director Andy Flower insists his England side have nothing to celebrate yet despite producing another polished display to book their place in the ICC World Twenty20 final.
England’s renaissance in the shortest form of the game continued yesterday as they swept Sri Lanka aside in the first semi-final to secure their participation in Sunday’s showpiece in Barbados.
Once again, England combined menace and frugality with the ball, fielded splendidly and cruised home on the back of another batting effort of controlled power.
Openers Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb set the early pace before Kevin Pietersen applied the gloss to a superb day’s work by hitting an unbeaten 42 off only 26 balls.
As well as England played – Flower admitted it was “a very dominant display” – he has moved quickly to snuff out any feeling of euphoria in the camp.
“We came here with one objective and that was to win the tournament. We haven’t done that,” he told ECBtv. “So it’s certainly not the time for any patting of backs.
“I’m pleased with the way we’ve played; we’ve played some strong cricket and some intelligent cricket.
“But I don’t feel any sense of achievement at all. The time for looking back will be after the final.”
Flower will, however, cast his mind back to England’s progress thus far in a bid to pinpoint areas where they can do better.
Captain Paul Collingwood claimed in the aftermath of victory in St Lucia that “there aren’t too many areas we can improve on”, but rest assured the ever-demanding Flower will find something.
While praising the contributions of Kieswetter and Lumb, whose opening stand of 68 in little more than eight overs set England on their way in style, Flower knows there is more to come.
“That sort of start chasing a small total – it was a match-winning partnership,” he acknowledged.
“They’ve been really good so far. Both are playing their first real tournament for England; they’ve handled it very well.
“They’ve played some cameo knocks and shown some real power with the bat, and no mean skill. They’ve had some useful partnerships.
“It must be said that neither have played a huge innings yet. I know they will be hungry to do so.”
Flower is already making plans for England’s return to the Kensington Oval, which, judging by the evidence so far, will be a much quicker surface than that in St Lucia.
It seems inconceivable that England will make any changes to a side that, along with Australia, have been the most impressive on show in this tournament.
“Our guys’ tactics, and their skills in executing those tactics, were very good,” Flower said of the mauling of Sri Lanka, World Twenty20 finalists themselves last year.
“It was one of those days with the ball in hand where the plans worked very well.
“Barbados is a completely different pitch, so we’ll have to adjust a few things there. Then we’ve got to win that.”