Flower: End of an era

Team director Andy Flower said the 5-0 Ashes whitewash probably spells the "end of an era" for the England team.

The Australians completed a thumping 281-run victory in Sydney to heap further humiliation on the tourists.

Flower had already stated that he intends to carry on as team director, but he admitted that the next England team that takes the field may look very different to the XI crushed at the SCG.

"This does feel like the end of an era and a chance of some sort of renewal for the England cricket team," he told Sky Sports.

"This wasn't good enough so there should be change of some description. It needs wise people making good decisions at the top. We should take a bit of time to review it properly."

Flower admitted that the raw pace of Mitchell Johnson had been the key difference between the two teams.

Johnson took 37 wickets in the series, and his hostility rattled England from the first Test to the last.

"Australia's bowling has been outstanding. Mitchell Johnson's pace has been a huge difference between the two sides," he said.

"To be frank, the pace rocked the batting order in the first Test and we never quite recovered.


"I, as leader along with Alastair, we have to analyse the decisions we have made. A full and logical review in the near future might answer some of those questions.

"For us, we've underperformed badly. If I'm honest, we could have seen it coming earlier. We haven't scored heavy runs - anything above 400 - for a very long time.

"We have been put under tremendous pressure by a very good team on their own turf. We've had a couple of young guys come in - Ben Stokes stood up to his personal examination really well."

When England selected their squad, much was made of the aggressive look of it, with three huge fast bowlers, Boyd Rankin, Chris Tremlett and Steven Finn, included. Rankin played in Sydney, Tremlett in the first Test, but there was no sign of Finn at all.

Flower said: "Steven Finn is a great prospect but he's struggling a bit at the moment. I still believe he can be a good bowler for England but he needs to progress and sort a few things out. He has all the talent and will to do that."

Flower feels it is wrong to be singling out captain Alastair Cook - or any other player - for personal criticism on a tour in which very little has gone right for the squad as a whole.

"No team is perfect and ours is no different," he said. "Team spirit always gets its closest examination under pressure and we've been under enormous amounts of pressure by a good side on their own turf. That is an area we will look at.

"All cricket captains need an authority and need to lead and the team needs to be led and need a leader to do that.

"Alastair is a good man, has done some amazing things for his country already in a sporting context and will do more of that in the future."

The humiliating whitewash appears to have done little to dampen Flower's own enthusiasm for the job either.

He said: "I still enjoy it, still find it fascinating. It's a great job and I'm very proud to be associated with England cricket."