Flower talks up Trent Bridge drama

When the famous 2005 Ashes series took place, current England team director Andy Flower was still plying his trade in county cricket for Essex.

Such distractions will no doubt have hindered the Zimbabwean’s ability to fully appreciate the palpable excitement that rubber sparked around the country.

Yet he will have been given a good idea this week as his troops edged to a tense 14-run victory in a first Investec Test full of twists and turns.

Much of the five days in Trent Bridge were spent looking back at those remarkable encounters eight years ago, with memories aplenty evoked.

Unlike back then, Flower now finds himself right in the midst of the action as he aims to steward England to a third successive triumph over the old enemy during his tenure.

While the victories he oversaw in 2009 and 2010-11 created plenty of memorable moments, they maybe did not quite live up to 2005 in terms of sheer drama.

However, we were all taken back to that series of Flintoff, Vaughan, Harmison and Co this week – and Flower, for one, loved every minute of it.

“It’s great for all of us to be involved in such a great Test and I’m sure it will be a great series one way or the other,” he enthused.

“It was a brilliant game to be involved in. The ebbing and flowing of the game, us winning the toss and batting first on a dry-ish pitch understanding that it would swing and balancing that out against the opposition having to bat last on a wearing pitch.

“Those sorts of things were interesting to watch. The swing that was of offer throughout the game, both conventional and reverse, was really interesting not just for us but everyone in the ground.

“It was just an amazing game of cricket.”

Such “amazing” games are often decided by special performances – and this week’s match was no difference.

James Anderson will enjoy most of the plaudits for his 10-wicket performace yet the only century was equally worth of praise.

Indeed, it was Ian Bell’s 109, made with England in real trouble, that eventually set Australia a target that proved insurmountable.

“I’ve seen a lot of very fine innings from Ian Bell but in the context of what was a very tight game perhaps it was (his best),” added Flower.

England will know many similarly great efforts are required, particularly if this series proves as dramatic as its fabled predecessor.

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