x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Test preparation is England's priority

Andy Flower, the England coach, has warned his fringe players not to expect too much playing time against South Australia this week.

Andy Flower, the England coach, has warned his fringe players not to expect too much playing time against South Australia this week as England continue their preparations for The Ashes. England start a three-day match in Adelaide today, their penultimate warm-up before the first Ashes Test against Australia begins in Brisbane on November 25. "One of our priorities is not to give everyone a go, it's not about trying to be fair to everyone," Flower said. "We are trying to prepare our Test side for Brisbane. That's the priority."

Watson says he is bowling at his best

Shane Watson, the Australia opener, believes his bowling form is the best of his career and he wants to shoulder more of the workload in The Ashes series. "I feel in a really good place with my bowling," Watson said. "I felt like I bowled really well [in the series against Sri Lanka]. I was able to swing the ball at better pace than what it has been. I feel like I'm bowling probably better than I have in my career."

Ponting warns England on Gabba

Ricky Ponting has warned England they will find it "hard to come to grips" with the pace and bounce of the pitch at the Gabba in Brisbane. The tourists will have had three warm-up matches by the time they set foot on the Gabba pitch for the first Test of The Ashes on November 25. "Visiting teams find it hard to come to terms with just how different it is up there," Ponting said in The Australian.

Malinga rested for West Indies Test

Sri Lanka have decided to rest Lasith Malinga, the strike bowler, for the first Test against the West Indies in Galle, starting on Monday. A selection committee spokesman said the paceman was being rested because of the amount of cricket he played on the recent tour of Australia. Malinga, who also has a lingering knee problem, won the man of the series award in Sri Lanka's 2-1 one-day series victory.