Flower stands firm over ball management

ANDY FLOWER is unrepentant about England’s management of the ball, despite South Africa’s transitory suspicions that tampering might have been afoot during the third Test.

The tourists emerged with a nerve-jangling draw on Thursday – courtesy of the defiance of Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood and finally number 11 Graham Onions – in a match beset by controversy then concluded in drama.

South Africa voiced their concerns, publicly and with match referee Roshan Mahanama, on the third evening at Newlands after Stuart Broad had stopped a straight drive with the sole of his studded boot and James Anderson had been spotted running his fingers over the ball.

England coach Flower, however, is adamant his pace bowlers’ efforts to achieve reverse swing – once the ball becomes naturally rough from wear and tear – are entirely above board.

“Our bowlers have shown a lot of skill with reverse swing,” he said.

“The abrasive pitches here have helped get the ball into condition to do it. We’ll be going about things in exactly the same way.”

As for South Africa’s decision to go public with their concerns but then decline to make an official complaint, Flower believes it was a flawed manoeuvre but not one which has damaged the spirit between two teams locked in a tough series England lead 1-0 with one match to play.

“If they wanted to raise it, they should have done it formally,” he said.

“But relations are fine. They are two competitive units battling it out, so you expect a little bit of toing and froing.”

Meanwhile, the coach praised Onions, saying that it was no accident the Durham tail-ender bailed England out once again.

“He’s been put in a couple of really difficult situations,” said Flower.

“He’s bowled probably not with a hell of a lot of luck, and then he’s been thrown into some really tense positions with the bat. He’s come through very well. All-round, it’s a good reflection on English cricket that we could fight our way through.”

More in this section

Price info
IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

GAATitleGAALogo

Sun, Oct 17

Nemo Rangers v Douglas

Páirc Uí Rinn
2pm

Sun, Sept 26

Clyda Rovers
v
Mallow

SAFC Round 2

Glantane
2pm

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up