x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Coach Andy Flower pleased with learning curve of England cricketers

England's young cricketers have gained plenty of experience in subcontinent-like conditions ahead of World Twenty20, he says.

Coach Andy Flower is optimistic about England's future in the Twenty20 arena.
Coach Andy Flower is optimistic about England's future in the Twenty20 arena.

ABU DHABI // Andy Flower, the England coach, says his youthful side have gained vital experience against Pakistan which will help them in their bid to defend their World Twenty20 title later this year.

England levelled the three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan with a comfortable 38-run win in the second match in Dubai on Saturday, setting up an intriguing final game in Abu Dhabi on Monday night.

And Flower says the experience on the subcontinent-like pitches will leave them in good shape to defend their World Twenty20 title they won in the Caribbean in 2010.

"The experience those guys will have gained in a pressure situation against a very good opposition in these conditions will be absolutely vital to their growth and to our growth as a side," Flower told reporters.

Flower stressed his team need to focus on the Sri Lanka event.

"We have to have, at this stage, an eye on the World Twenty20, which is in six or seven months time and therefore how we play against these spinners in these conditions and how quickly we learn is vital to our chances in Sri Lanka," he said. "Most of our Twenty20 matches are now in England, so it will be different cricket and we have to make the most use of this next one which, no doubt, we will be aiming to do."

Flower praised newcomer Jonny Bairstow, who hit an unbeaten 60 to help England to 150 for seven.

"I thought Bairstow's innings was outstanding; very skilful, firstly against some reasonable spin bowling and against a very good bowler in Umar Gul."