England capable of beating India: Flower

Updated: 19 July 2011 18:30 IST

England coach Andy Flower finds it "strange" when people term his team's goal of becoming the numero uno Test side as overconfidence because he believes the home team has the firepower to beat India in the upcoming series, starting with the first Test at Lord's on Thursday.

London:

England coach Andy Flower finds it "strange" when people term his team's goal of becoming the numero uno Test side as overconfidence because he believes the home team has the firepower to beat India in the upcoming series, starting with the first Test at Lord's on Thursday.

"I find it amazing people are amazed that we talk about being the No 1 side in the world. People make a big thing of it - especially commentators and ex-players.

"When they played for England did they not want to be the best side in the world? Doesn't every Test team want that goal? Surely? Isn't it very obvious and natural? I find it strange that it's seen as overconfidence or an outlandish goal," Flower said.

"Surely that's the goal you should have? Otherwise aren't you selling yourself and your country short?"

"It's a great challenge (series against India). Playing the No 1 side here is going to be a tough proposition but we believe we can beat them," he insisted.

The four-Test series between table toppers India and third-placed England promises to be the summer's most riveting contest as Flower's boys could rise to the pinnacle of world cricket if they beat the visiting Indian team by a 2-0 margin.

Flower, however, seemed realistic about his team's chances as he stressed on the importance of climbing up the ladder step by step.

"Absolutely. We don't set the goal with the expectation we're just going to talk about it. We haven't put a time limit on it but this series is different because we're playing the current No1 side in the world.

"I think that's accurate, but we need to get to No2 first. We'll do that if we win this series ? but just beating India doesn't guarantee moving us into the top slot. But, on the eve of this series, I can't help but concentrate on this match and on the first day. That's the important focus," he said.

Reflecting on his time so far with the England team, the 43-year-old former Zimbabwe captain said, "It's gone very well over the last two years and we've had really good results. But I'm very keen for it not just to be two good years. We want to establish."

"I really don't want this to sound cliched but we want to establish an England team culture that is very strong and stands the test of time. That's achievable if it's run well. "It's definitely not impossible (to reach that level) but we've got a long way to go before we could even dream of such dominance. We have to take care of the here and now. This series is vitally important," he added.

Flower also revealed that he was tempted to take up the India coach's jon when offered post Gary Kirsten's tenure but he thought otherwise as he had "unfinished business" with the England team.

"There was an investigation by them (Indian Cricket Board) last year to see if I would be interested. But I'm very committed to doing this job.

"Yes, of course I thought about it. I've always really enjoyed touring India. I think the country is vibrant and exciting and I love being there. It's a great atmosphere to play sport so of course I thought about it. But I have unfinished business with England and I'd like to do this job properly before I move on," he said.

Topics : Cricket England India Andy Flower Ravi Bopara Kevin Pietersen Ian Bell India in England, 2011
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