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Ashes: Andy Flower guarded on Chris Tremlett inclusion

Third Ashes Test: Australia v England
Venue: Perth Dates: 16-20 December Start time: 0230 GMT
Coverage: Listen live on Test Match Special on BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW & online; highlights (UK only) and day's review on the TMS podcast; live text commentary on BBC Sport website; live on Sky Sports 1; highlights on ITV4


Flower plays down Anderson disruption

By Tom Fordyce
BBC Sport, Perth

England coach Andy Flower has decided which of his three reserve seam bowlers will replace the injured Stuart Broad.

Rumours sweeping Perth suggest Surrey paceman Chris Tremlett will get the nod ahead of Yorkshire pair Tim Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad for the third Test.

But following the tour match against Victoria, when the trio took only one wicket between them, Flower is refusing to confirm he has gone for Tremlett.

He said: "You can't put words in my mouth. It's pretty clear in our minds."

With Thursday's match moving swiftly into focus, Flower added: "We've got two days prep, and we'll tell our squad what the XI is the day before the game."

With Broad out of the rest of the series with an abdominal injury and his new-ball partner James Anderson tired from two long flights after a brief trip back to England to be present at the birth of his second child, England's bowling attack is under the spotlight for the first time in the tour.

The players' families have also arrived here in Perth, as agreed with team management, and Flower concedes that there are new challenges to be dealt with as a result.

Tim Bresnan Age 25, Tests 5
14 wkts at 35.14, 125 runs at 41.66;
Total first-class wkts 256, av 32.26; Runs 2918, av 27.52
Ajmal Shahzad Age 25, Tests 1
4 wkts at 15.75, 5 runs at 5.00;
Total first-class wkts 94, av 32.54; Runs 814, av 29.07
Chris Tremlett Age 29, Tests 3
13 wkts at 29.69, 50 runs at 12.50;
Total first-class wkts 344, av 27.24; Runs 1884, av 18.29

"It's not ideal prep for James or for us, but we'll get the right amount of rest and training into him over the next few days," he said.

"In competition you can't always get perfect preparation - there are all sorts of things that can go wrong or could distract you. But this is just a little bit of reality that he has to deal with.

"It's quite a tricky decision to make - setting dates when players and families come. They are adults and want to be free to decide which countries they travel to and the timings of those trips. For other people to make those decisions, as in us the management, I would imagine is a little galling.

"But if everyone reacts to the different dynamic it should be fine. The players have reacted very well to it. And look - we're here to win a Test series, we're not here for a family holiday."

England can retain the Ashes if they win in Perth, having drawn the first match in Brisbane before producing a stunning innings victory in Adelaide last week.

And Flower feels that the draw over the past three days in Melbourne provided the ideal warm-up for those three fast bowlers and the rest of the team.


"It was quite hard work for all the fast bowlers and spinners alike, but quite a good exercise in getting back to reality for our team," he said.

"After the highs of the second Test in Adelaide I think that was a really good workout for us. The hard work they had to put in, the number of overs they had to put in against a good Victorian team was the perfect workout prior to this game.

"It was ideal for the team as a whole - Adelaide was an important moment in this series, and it was very important for us to keep our feet on the floor thereafter. It's great that we're 1-0 up in the series, but one of our principles is not to look too far ahead, and our focus now is on the Perth game and the Perth game only."

The Waca pitch traditionally has a reputation as a fast bowlers' paradise - hard, fast and bouncy. In recent Tests it has been slower and lower, and in England's warm-up game against Western Australia it was relatively flat.

But groundsman Cameron Sutherland has already said that the Test strip should see at least a partial return to Waca wickets of old, with a little more grass left on the track to aid seamers too.

"We'll go and make our own judgement on it," said Flower. "We do know this season it's got a little quicker than in the past few years, which is great.

Chris Tremlett
Tremlett appears favourite to win selection for the Perth Test

"We talked about it with Cameron when we were here playing the three-day game, and he was a little disappointed with that pitch - it wasn't quite as quick as he thought it might be.

"He indicated that he wanted to make it as quick and bouncy as possible for the Test match, which is really exciting for everyone. It gives everyone a chance, and makes for exciting cricket.

"England have a poor record in Perth - I think one win out of 11, and that was back in 1978, during the World Series Cricket time [when Australia had a heavily weakened Test side because of Kerry Packer's breakaway series].

"We recognise the challenge put in front of us, and I think the guys are excited about attempting to turn that round."

Flower also denied that his talismanic batsman Kevin Pietersen was in danger of letting his good work on the pitch be undone by his behaviour off it.

Pietersen was fined by Melbourne police last week after being caught speeding in a yellow Lamborghini arranged for him by former Australia spinner Shane Warne, and attracted criticism in Adelaide for branding the groundstaff "pathetic" in a tweet after pre-match practice.

"The tweet has been dealt with, and Kevin has been reminded of his responsibilities," said Flower. "The speeding fine is a personal issue that bears little relation to anything that happens in the team.

"I think we all have to do that, whether you're a player or part of the management - we all have to deal with our responsibilities. He's no different in that regard."

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see also
Broad to join Test Match Special
13 Dec 10 |  Test Match Special
Upbeat Beer poised for Test debut
13 Dec 10 |  Australia
Monday's Ashes gossip column
13 Dec 10 |  Cricket
England keen to end tour unbeaten
12 Dec 10 |  England
Prior ton salvages England draw
12 Dec 10 |  England
Anderson returns to see new baby
10 Dec 10 |  England
England announce T20 & ODI squad
10 Dec 10 |  England
Australia ring changes for Perth
10 Dec 10 |  England
Tremlett backed to replace Broad
08 Dec 10 |  England
Flower ponders Broad replacement
08 Dec 10 |  England
Injured Broad ruled out of Ashes
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket
England complete Adelaide triumph
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket

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