Flower: England will be up for the fight

By Rob Barnett

Andy Flower has no doubt England will be motivated for the two remaining Ashes Tests despite losing the series yesterday at Perth.

Australia’s 150-run win at the WACA gave them an unassailable 3-0 lead that regained the urn they surrendered three Ashes rubbers ago in 2009.

In the aftermath of defeat, captain Alastair Cook yesterday challenged the tourists to be at their best for the Boxing Day Test.

Team Director Flower today was sure that England will be in the right frame of mind for the Melbourne and Sydney matches.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann and captain Michael Clarke deserve credit for Australia's win, according to Andy Flower

“I don’t think getting up for those games will be a challenge at all,” he said. “Ashes Test matches, especially at Melbourne and Sydney, are exciting affairs and they’ll be absolutely up for that challenge.

“We want to win that game in Melbourne … and we’ll be doing everything in our power to do that.”

On the team make-up at the MCG, Flower added: “I will be chatting to the selectors. I’ll be talking to Alastair Cook, of course, and I will be chatting to our coaches about our strategy going into the Melbourne Test.”

Looking back, Flower recognised the roles played in Australia’s series win by captain Michael Clarke and coach Darren Lehmann, the latter who succeeded Mickey Arthur shortly before this year’s Investec rubber that England won 3-0.

“He’s done a great job. I know Darren Lehmann so I can imagine what’s been going on in the background,” Flower added.

“I think Michael Clarke has led the side very well. Tactically, he’s been astute on the field and he’s been backed up by his bowling attack. They’ve created pressure on our batsmen and we have to acknowledge that.”

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