Anderson will be fit for Ashes opener: Flower

Last Updated 26 October 2010, 03:08 IST

Speaking to journalists in London yesterday, Flower said Anderson was recovering well after cracking a rib during a controversial boxing session with team-mates at England's recent training camp in Germany.

Anderson may even be fit for some of the warm-up games leading into the first Test, which gets under way on November 25, Flower said.

"He's already bowling at 75 percent, so he should be fine for the first Test," Flower said.
"More than likely, he'll be okay for two of those warm-up games."

Anderson was crocked after being hit by a team-mate -- reportedly Chris Tremlett -- during an unorthodox training camp that has been criticised as unnecessarily risky so close to the Ashes.

However, Flower insisted he had no regrets about the camp."No, none at all," he said. "It's was an excellent camp, actually, and I think the players and management that were involved in it did things that they might never have done before in their lives and might never do again, and it was a very healthy experience."
Flower also dismissed description of the training exercise as a boot camp.

"The term 'boot camp' is associated with punishment in some way," he said.
"I might do some stupid things in my time but punishing players - and over five days - is not one of them. Obviously, Jim getting injured was not part of the plan, but these things happen."

Flower meanwhile said he was not concerned by the patchy form of star batsman Kevin Pietersen, who has not scored a Test century since March 2009.

Pietersen's attempt to play his way into form during a recent stint in South Africa with Natal also flopped, with the batsman scoring only 36 and a second ball duck during two first-class innings.

"He's very well; he enjoyed his trip to South Africa; and he's in a very good state of mind ready for the tour," Flower said.

"He didn't get many opportunities (for Natal). Unfortunately, the way the games panned out, he only got one innings in each game."But he did some really good work with the Natal side and I think it would've stood him in good stead.

"He feels good about his cricket; he feels confident going into Australia."Flower also tipped Pietersen to respond to the pressure of playing in an Ashes series.

"He wants to make a big contribution and this is a great stage on which to do it," he said. "I expect even greater things from him than what he's done already, so I look forward to seeing him do that."I don't think he's on the downward trend."

(Published 26 October 2010, 03:08 IST)

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