CRICKET : Andy Flower is determined not to be drawn into any mind games with South Africa, despite the hosts questioning several of England’s decisions during the early part of their tour to the country.
Andy Flower is determined not to be drawn into any mind games with South Africa, despite the hosts questioning several of England’s decisions during the early part of their tour to the country.
Opposite number Mickey Arthur, who has already spoken of his frustration over Cape Town-born Jonathan Trott’s choice to switch his allegiances, called England “predictable” after they slumped to an 84-run loss to the hosts.
“I’ve gone through my career as a player and will continue to do so as a coach in as modest a fashion as possible,” Flower said. “Perhaps their status as number one is encouraging them to react differently, but I’m very comfortable where we are as a team and I concentrate all my energies on us as a team. Yes, I analyse the opposition, but I won’t be commenting on those things.”
The Proteas coach was baffled after the tourists decided to hold back more attacking players like Eoin Morgan, Luke Wright, Trott and Kevin Pietersen and instead open the batting with the conventional pair of Alastair Cook and Joe Denly as they pursued a massive 242.
Arthur was also perplexed with the decision of stand-in captain Cook not to use spin bowler Adil Rashid after he conceded 25 in his only over, but the England coach refused to be drawn in.
Flower added: “I think in competitive sport that (mind games) are always happening. You’re always reading people’s body language.
“If someone’s a particularly good sledger, it can get under certain people’s skin. Depends on the reaction to it, I think that’s the crux of it is the reaction to it.
“We are quite comfortable where we are as a group of men and we’ll be concentrating on winning the games put in front of us.”