England tell fringe Test eleven comes first

Adelaide: England coach Andy Flower has warned his fringe players not to expect too much playing time as England continue their preparations for the Ashes against South Australia this week.

England start a three-day match in Adelaide on Thursday, their penultimate warm-up before the first of five Ashes Tests against Australia begins in Brisbane on Nov. 25.

"One of our priorities is not to give everyone a go, it`s not about trying to be fair to everyone," Flower told reporters in Adelaide.

"We are trying to prepare our Test side for Brisbane. That`s the priority."

"When you`ve got a squad of 16 or 17, obviously everyone wants to play. Everyone`s very proud to represent their country, whether in preparation games or internationals."

"But our priority is to ensure that our test XI is as ready as possible for the first Test."

Flower said he already had a good idea of what his starting XI at the Gabba would be, barring injury or a dramatic loss of form.

That is likely to mean a place for Alastair Cook, despite the opening batsmen`s disappointing innings of nine and five in the first tour match against Western Australia, which England won by six wickets.

"I don`t have concerns," Flower said. "It`s one game, two innings. I think he`s going to do well."

Graeme Swann would be a shock omission from the side after his recent run of form put him second in the world bowling rankings behind South Africa`s Dale Steyn.

Flower urged against piling too much pressure on the off spinner, who Australian bowling great Shane Warne has said will be pivotal to England`s chances of winning an Ashes series in Australia for the first time in 1986-87.

"Expectations on Graeme Swann are high, and I think everyone just needs to keep calm about that," said Flower.

"He`s a very fine bowler. But he`s one of four bowlers in our Test attack. He will make his contributions, there`s no doubt about that."

"He`s confident, but our whole side works together to create pressure -- and he`s one of those guys."

Bureau Report


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