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Page last updated at 07:56 GMT, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Flower admits Twenty20 failings

Andy Flower
Flower has applied for the job of England's permanent head coach

Stand-in coach Andy Flower says England are "a long way" from a winning formula in Twenty20 cricket - only three months before they host the World Twenty20.

England were bowled out for 121 in 19.1 overs by West Indies in Trinidad on Sunday to lose by six wickets.

It followed England's dismal display in the Stanford match last November, when they were dismissed for 99.

"We're a long way from having a successful formula and the results have borne that out," said Flower.

"You're certainly a bit restricted on tour compared to your normal Twenty20 selection options but in one-day cricket I think we've got a clearer idea."

The five-game one-day international series begins with two games in Guyana on Friday and Sunday.

Despite being one of several candidates to have applied for the permanent England head coach role, former Zimbabwe batsman Flower insisted: "To be honest, the job is the last thing on my mind.

Usually your best players are your best players. But there are instances where you get specialists in Twenty20 cricket

Andy Flower
"This one-day series is very important for all of us and not just for me and the job situation.

"It's coming on the end of a long, hard winter where we've had no success and it's vitally important.

"It's important for us to have a good one-day series - we look at these five games now as a separate tournament and we want to win this section of the tour."

England have only two more scheduled Twenty20 matches before their opening match of the World Twenty20 against Netherlands at Lord's on 5 June - warm-ups against Scotland and West Indies earlier that month.

"It does leave us short of time," conceded Flower.

"But this one-day tournament can help us identify the people that are going to be successful in the shortened format of the game.

"Of course we'd like to play more Twenty20 international cricket to investigate and get experience doing it. A lot of our guys in county cricket have played a lot of Twenty20 cricket - it's probably our international guys that are more inexperienced."

Sean Mee
On Sunday, Ravi Bopara and debutant Steve Davies were England's 11th opening partnership in only 15 Twenty20 matches.

England have used 40 players in those matches, seven different wicketkeepers and seven players who have only featured once, not including the three debutants - Davies, Gareth Batty and Amjad Khan - from Sunday's defeat.

England's last World Twenty20 campaign in South Africa in 2007 included several specialists who had excelled in the domestic Twenty20 Cup - such as Darren Maddy, James Kirtley, Chris Schofield and Jeremy Snape.

They had mixed success as England failed to reach the semi-finals but Flower admitted the selectors may look at doing the same again with this summer's squad.

"There are instances where you get specialists in Twenty20 cricket, definitely," he said.

A disappointing one-day series against West Indies, following on from the 5-0 defeat in India, could end Flower's ambitions to succeed Peter Moores as England's full-time coach.

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see also
Gayle set to play in opening ODI
16 Mar 09 |  West Indies
England earn one-day warm-up win
14 Mar 09 |  England
Windies hold on to clinch series
10 Mar 09 |  England
England in West Indies 2009
15 Mar 09 |  England

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