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Page last updated at 13:50 GMT, Friday, 2 July 2010 14:50 UK

England coach Flower says one-day series no Ashes guide

Fifth one-day international: England v Australia
Venue: Lord's Date: Saturday, 3 July Start time: 1045 BST
Coverage: Live ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave and via the BBC Sport website. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles. Also live on Sky Sports 1


Andrew Strauss (left) and Andy Flower
Strauss (left) and Flower are plotting Ashes glory

England coach Andy Flower believes the result of the current one-day series against Australia will have little influence on this winter's Ashes.

England lead 3-1 going into the final game at Lord's on Saturday, while the first Ashes Test is in November.

"Of course, 4-1 would be excellent for us - and we will be giving everything to do that," said Flower.

"But I don't think Saturday's result will have huge implications for what happens in Australia."

Flower, who led his side to Ashes glory in England last summer, added: "Every win you have against certain opponents grows your self-belief and confidence - and they are very important elements in competitive sport.

"We are always looking at ways to grow our confidence, and there is no better way to do that than playing well and winning against quality opposition."

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England captain Andrew Strauss has urged his team to regroup after their 78-run defeat at The Oval on Wednesday and complete a 4-1 series win, a result he said would be an "outstanding achievement".

"We don't want to finish this series 3-2 having been 3-0 up," he said.

"We played three very good games of cricket, dominating them, and we want to continue that domination in this final one.

"To win a series against the number one team in the world 4-1 would be an outstanding achievement.

"It would also help us climb the world rankings which is something we're very keen to do.

"I've looked at this series as a challenge and so far it's gone OK. I'd really like to finish with a bang."

Meanwhile, Flower insisted Kevin Pietersen was in "superb form", despite not scoring a one-day fifty since November 2008 and for 15 innings.

"His [Pietersen's] balance is excellent. He is hitting balls through the off-side as well as I have ever seen him," said Flower.

"I would not so much look at 16 innings. He just needs to find the balance in decision-making which allows him to stay at the crease long enough for a big score.

"He is very hungry to do that for England. He wants to be a game-changer and a match-winner, Saturday will be a lovely stage for him at Lord's."

However, despite his confidence in Pietersen, Flower has called on his top-order to deliver runs more consistently and reduce the pressure on Eoin Morgan, who has been England's mainstay in the current series.

"Like most games we play, there are things to learn from the last one," stated Flower.

"The most obvious thing that stands out is the fact we need our top four to get away and get big scores.

"Cameos are useful, but the really big scores not only change the momentum of the game but often decide the result. We need our top four to get those big scores.

"Eoin Morgan has been superb for us in resurrecting certain circumstances and he started to do it yet again yesterday. But we want to put him in those circumstances less often.

"We want people like Morgan and [Luke] Wright to be there to improve innings that are already set up rather than having to try to resurrect them."


England (from): AJ Strauss (captain), C Kieswetter (wkt), KP Pietersen, PD Collingwood, EJG Morgan, LJ Wright, TT Bresnan, MH Yardy, GP Swann, SCJ Broad, JM Anderson, RJ Sidebottom.

Australia (from): RT Ponting (captain), SR Watson, TD Paine (wkt), MJ Clarke, CL White, MEK Hussey, SPD Smith, JR Hopes, RJ Harris, SW Tait, DE Bollinger, JR Hazlewood.

Umpires: A Dar (Pak) and N Llong (Eng)

Third umpire: R Kettleborough (Eng)

Match referee: J Srinath (Ind)



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see also
Early wickets cost us - Strauss
30 Jun 10 |  England
Aussies prevent England whitewash
30 Jun 10 |  England
Swann wants 'golden' England era
30 Jun 10 |  England
England win series despite wobble
27 Jun 10 |  England
Broad inspires England to victory
24 Jun 10 |  England
Superb Morgan leads England home
22 Jun 10 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
Australia in England 2010
04 Jul 10 |  Cricket


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