Andy Flower retains faith in players after England’s Ashes humbling

England's Alastair Cook (left) and Andy Flower (right)
England's Alastair Cook (left) and Andy Flower (right)

Andy Flower has promised there will be no “witch-hunt” for players who under-performed in England’s Ashes whitewash this winter.

Flower has committed himself to staying on as Test coach and team director to try to reinvigorate England after their shambolic descent to a 5-0 defeat, and he insists captain Alastair Cook can emerge from the debacle to put his own stamp on a team for the future.

He acknowledges there must be some change after five wide-margin Test defeats, but does not advocate singling out anyone at this early stage of the necessary review process.

Which senior players remain in Cook and Flower’s new era is a source of much conjecture.

Kevin Pietersen, for example, was variously touted on the final day of the series - depending which pundit you follow on Twitter - as ready for retirement or about to be given the vice-captaincy.

Flower, unsurprisingly, gave no clues as to which might be nearer the truth.

“I don’t want to go into talking about individuals right now,” he said.

“This isn’t a witch hunt - certainly not on my part anyway. We need to make wise decisions about who are the players that need to join Alastair Cook in the rebuilding of the England cricket side.”

Those decisions will continue to take place in a series of meetings with new England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Paul Downton.

Flower said: “We met prior to the Sydney Test and are meeting again (on Monday) - with a little more information.

“He was very supportive. I’m not looking for the ECB to have the same ideas I’ve got.

“We’re looking to have a proper, robust discussion about what the best ideas are for English cricket.

“We’ve got to get our heads together. What I’ve always tried to do in my role is make the best decisions in the interests of English cricket - and that is what I’ll do, with Paul.”