Monday, January 10, 2011

Andy Flower eyes World Cup win

Team director Andy Flower believes England can win the upcoming World Cup.
England will begin their lead-up programme with a 50-over match against a Prime Minister's XI in Canberra on Monday, before meeting Australia in two Twenty20s and seven one-day internationals.
Those matches will form the bulk of their preparation for the World Cup on the sub-continent, which begins with their opening group game against Holland on February 22.
While Flower concedes playing on the harder surfaces in Australia is not ideal ahead of the spin-friendly dust bowls in Asia, he still believes his team have the capacity to follow their World Twenty20 success of a year ago and clinch the 50-over crown for the first time.
"I think it's possible, but it's going to be very difficult," Flower said.
"I'm not sure where we're rated in one-day internationals but I think the brand of cricket we're playing we've got a chance.
"We'll have to switch on to the sub-continent conditions and thrive very quickly. Even the Bangladesh conditions will be very tricky - they've just beaten New Zealand 4-0.
"That's going to be a tricky match in itself."
England are pooled in Group B for the tournament where, amongst others, they will face India and Bangladesh on their home soil.
With that in mind Flower admits the matches in Australia will provide a completely different challenge to what they will face on the sub-continent, where the twin-spin threat of Graeme Swann and Michael Yardy is more likely to prosper.
Flower though is unwilling to dismiss the chance to meet the Australians, the three-time defending world champions, before the World Cup as he looks to fine-tune his side.
"We're playing against a good side - the number one ODI side in the world - and that's great opposition leading up to the World Cup. That's a big plus," he added.
"But the conditions are very different so it makes things slightly tricky because the make-up of the side could be different. It makes the lead in not perfect but we'll make the most of it.
"In training definitely we'll be combining it with looking to the World Cup, it's pertinent."
He added: "It's a strange run-in, yes, we'll be playing one-day cricket but in Australian conditions.
"The type of cricket we'll need to win in sub-continent will be different, different skills, different make-up to the side maybe, perhaps a slightly different batting order."
With England's Ashes success still fresh in the mind, Flower has little time to focus the minds of his players for a limited overs programme that holds such significance with the World Cup so close.
The match against the Prime Minister's XI, who will be led by new Australia Twenty20 captain Tim Paine, will at least allow them the chance to ease back into the shorter formats.
Flower will, however, call on an under-strength pace attack will the injured Stuart Broad out for the entire series, while James Anderson will be rested for the opening three games to manage his workload after he was the only seamer to play in all five Ashes Tests.
"If we don't rest him right now there is a significant chance he will break down," Flower warned.
"He has just played five Tests in a row and that's a magnificent achievement in itself. So he has to rest now."
But without two of his key bowlers, Flower is expecting a tough series against an Australian side smarting under the weight of public criticism following their Ashes humiliation.
"They are the number one ODI side and we are languishing in mid-table," he added.
"It is a huge challenge for us and we won't have two of our premier strike bowlers in Anderson and Broad, so it's a challenge for our bowling attack, but also an exciting opportunity for them and for us."
Andrew Strauss will be rested for Monday's warm-up match in Canberra, with the skipper set to fly to Melbourne where he has a house, meaning Paul Collingwood will lead the team.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants For Single Moms