Flower stresses on more dominating show from England

New Delhi: England coach Andy Flower had no qualms in admitting that his side has failed to play good cricket in the ongoing World Cup and asked his boys to come up with more "dominating and consistent" show in the knock-out rounds if they desire to win the coveted title.

Flower said his team need to raise the bar if they have to go the distance in the World Cup.

Bangladesh`s humiliating 206-run defeat at the hands of South Africa in Dhaka today ensured the passage of India and England into the quarterfinals from group B.

"It would be great for us to be more dominant, more consistent. But that was not the case so far and I am not looking backward. We have not been consistent enough and of course I would love to have more dominant and confident show from the players.”

"As soon as we know where we are going and to whom we are playing in the knock-outs, we will focus on our strategy accordingly," Flower told the reporters here.

South Africa have finished as group leaders with 10 points from six matches while the remaining three positions will be determined tomorrow after India-West Indies concluding group B game.

A win against the West Indies will take India to the second spot with nine points and England will finish third with seven points. The West Indies will be fourth with six points, same as that of Bangladesh.

But given the huge run-rate margin between the two teams, the Caribbeans look favourites to go into the next stage. In another situation, if the West Indies win, they will finish second with eight points followed by India and England in third and fourth places respectively.

Flower said that both India and South Africa are the favourites to win the World Cup title given their present form.

"India and South Africa are the favourites to win the tournament. They are going great. We have done well against them in the league stage," he said.

England tied the match against India, chasing a record World Cup target of 339, finishing at 338 for 8. Against South Africa, England snatched a dramatic six-run win victory in a low-scoring thriller in Chennai.

But they lost to minnows Ireland and Bangladesh, while somehow managing to prevail over the Netherlands.

Flower described the English team journey so far in the World Cup as "roller-coaster" ride.

"It`s great to get through as that was our objective to reach the qualifying stage. We faced number of ups and downs. You can say a roller-coaster ride for us. Certainly very excited where we stand today.

"It seems tense and exciting, every game was close and it`s all sorts of emotions running through the dressing room. I think our players done really well to hold themselves in the pressure situations. None more so than the last game against West Indies.”

"It made our journey really exciting and now our focus is on the quarters," he said.

On the hosts team enjoying the advantage of playing at home, Flower said, "We don`t have a preference really. Whatever conditions are thrown on our way, we are ready to face them."

The likelihood is that England will be up against 1996 champions and 2007 finalists Sri Lanka on their home ground at the Premadasa Stadium.

On the prospects of playing against them in the quarters, Flower said, "I saw Australia-Pakistan game today at the Premadasa. It looks to me a pretty good pitch. We had played few matches on it in the past and we fairly know about the conditions."

Ashes hero and strike bowler James Anderson was rested for the must-win match against the West Indies, which England won by 18 runs, having run out of steam after an exhausting Ashes series.

"He`s had a strenuous winter. He played in every Test match in Australia and also a couple of the first-class games leading up to that series; then he took part in the one-day series in Australia and has played a number of games in this World Cup.”

"He has a couple of niggles, but we could certainly play him in the next match. It`s certainly brought home the lesson that we have to manage and look after our fast bowlers well. I think with the schedule and the workload on our fast-bowling resources, we will have to bring in a clearer rotation policy," the coach added.

PTI

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