Flower tells Pakistan captain to Butt out of Ashes
Andy Flower has told Salman Butt to mind his own business after the Pakistan captain backed Australia to deny England a successful defence of the Ashes.cricket Updated: Aug 24, 2010 14:29 IST
Andy Flower has told Salman Butt to mind his own business after the Pakistan captain backed Australia to deny England a successful defence of the Ashes.
Butt's men beat England by four wickets at The Oval on Saturday to reduce the hosts' series lead to 2-1 ahead of the fourth and final Test starting on the other side of London's River Thames at Lord's on Thursday.
Pakistan drew 1-1 in a two-Test series against Australia in England last month and Butt was unequivocal when asked by reporters at The Oval who he favoured to win the Ashes series, which starts in Brisbane in November.
"The Aussies are much better players in their own conditions," Butt said.
"The ball doesn't swing so much, so the bowlers have to work hard. In their conditions they are better than England."
However, England coach Flower, speaking on Sunday, said: "Salman Butt shouldn't really be making judgments about our bowlers in Australia. "Of course, if the ball doesn't swing at any venue, (fast) bowlers will be less dangerous. That's perfectly obvious."
Meanwhile Flower wants a show of faith in the top-order to be rewarded with a much improved batting display at Lord's.
Yorkshire seamer Tim Bresnan was the only addition on Sunday to the England team beaten at The Oval.
That means England are set to field an unchanged top order at Lord's and Flower wants that vote of confidence rewarded after a poor display at The Oval.
"On the batting side, I thought we under-performed without a doubt," Flower said. "On a good Oval pitch, scores of 233 and 222 weren't good enough to win a Test match."
At The Oval, England lost their first seven wickets for 94 runs in their first innings and their last seven wickets for 28 in their second after Alastair Cook's century.
In an era of generally batsmen-friendly wickets, both pitch and overhead conditions favoured swing bowlers in the first two Test of this series.