x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Flower has hopes for Pietersen

He failed again to produce the big score his teammates have been predicting since their arrival in Bangladesh.

Andy Flower, the England head coach, watched a number of players enhance their Test credentials in the drawn warm-up game against Bangladesh A, but is still anticipating a major contribution from the man who did not. Kevin Pietersen again failed to produce the big score his teammates have been predicting since their arrival in Bangladesh, with a breezy 20 before being bowled on the sweep. That took his total to 69 in seven innings on tour, a miserable return for a player of his talent.

Flower saw the likes of James Tredwell, with eight wickets in the match that ended yesterday, and Jonathan Trott, with an unbeaten century in the first innings, lay down firm markers, but Flower remains convinced of Pietersen's ability despite his failure to follow suit. "I think he is frustrated at the moment," Flower said. "It's a pity he didn't spend some more time in the middle because I thought he looked quite good for his 20.

"I thought he showed some good signs. "He's a world-class player with a great record behind him and we still expect a lot from him in these Test matches. "I don't really agree with that cricketing phase 'one knock away' but I do think all the hard work he is putting in and the thought he is putting into his game will stand him in good stead in the future," Flower added yesterday. Meanwhile, Bangladesh have left Mohammad Ashraful, their former captain, out of the 14-man squad which will face England in two Tests, beginning on Friday.

Ashraful has failed to make a half-century in his last 13 international innings and skipped the one-day international series against England, which the hosts lost 3-0, opting instead to try and regain his form in domestic first-class matches. * With agencies