Flower expects `great things` from `shaky` top-order duo Cook, Trott in remainder of Ashes

London: England team director Andy Flower has said that the team is expecting `great things` from the two well-established pillars of England`s top order , captain Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott, given that they have been unusually shaky during the Ashes series.

According to the Guardian, Cook has 145 runs at 24.16, and Trott 122 at 20.33 having been dismissed for two ducks in his last three innings in these Ashes series, contrasting sharply with the last Ashes series in Australia, when they shared more than 1,200 runs and had scored 772 between them after three Tests.

The fall in the England duo`s scores and their inability to score big runs in the series has led Australian coach Darren Lehmann to suggest that the tourists have managed to open `a couple of cracks` in the England batting line-up that they can exploit in their attempts to square the series.

However, Flower appeared unworried, saying that although Cook and Trott have not made big contributions in the series that the team is used to, they are still an important aspect in England` success so far in the Ashes, although he admitted that the team and selectors still expects great things from the duo.

According to Flower, some wickets are going to fall early in the innings as there are a number of good new-ball bowlers on both the sides even though wished otherwise, although he added that he believes that England has recovered from that shock by the end of the Old Trafford Test.

Backing the England players, Flower also said that in cricket, not every player can succeed at the same time, although he hoped that for successful sides like England, batsmen would merge a little.

The report further said that Trott made important contributions in the first innings at Trent Bridge (48) and the second at Lord`s (58), and England would have been in much more trouble without Cook`s 62 in the first innings at Old Trafford, especially his painstaking 50 in more than four hours, in which he shared a partnership of 110 with Kevin Pietersen, at Trent Bridge.

However, Flower admitted that even after what turned out to be a match-saving, and therefore Ashes-retaining, century at Old Trafford, the team`s self-styled `Old Man`, Kevin Pietersen, may now need careful handling.

Pietersen had reportedly who has revealed that not only did he almost miss the third Test with a calf strain, but that he could easily have been ruled out of the whole series by a knee operation.


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