sport

Flower - We can fight back

England team director Andy Flower has taken issue with the "simplistic" notion that his team lack the will to succeed in the Ashes.

England have lost the first two Tests heavily, and will therefore need to overturn almost 80 years of Ashes history if they are to come from 2-0 down to win the series - and the urn - for a fourth time in succession.

Captain Alastair Cook gave partial credence after Monday's 218-run defeat in Adelaide to the suggestion that his players might lack the appetite for the battle, before quickly adding his assurance that he has checked - and they most definitely do after all.

A day later, Flower was more dismissive of the same idea, adding the next Test in Perth - starting on Friday - is a clean slate for both teams, and England's big chance to grasp back the initiative.

Improving

"Usually in sporting contests, when there are losses - especially heavy losses - one of the first areas people look at is lack of fight, or the other side wanted it more," he said.

"That's quite a simplistic view. We've been outplayed in these two Tests, very obviously.

"Our batting failed three times in a row and we played a little better in the fourth innings, but we will need to up these skills and improving on that batting in Perth if we are to stand any chance."

Flower retains faith, however, in a team who have a track record which provides some hope that they could yet hit back.

"None of us wanted to be two down after two Tests and the scale of the defeats has been tough but I know that we can fight back in to the series," he said.

"A lot of these players have done some amazing things for England in the recent past and we are going to have to fight for this to happen again."

Former Australia spinner Shane Warne insists the if they are to avoid falling 3-0 behind.

Warne told Sky Sports: "England have got to show they're up for it and I hope Alastair Cook eyeballs every one of his players and says 'are you up for it? What have you got? Have you got your best game in Perth? Are you ready to play and take these guys on?'."

Flower admits that selection for Perth will be dependent on the conditions of the WACA pitch, however England will not retain two spinners.

Conditions

That means either Monty Panesar, drafted into the XI due to the dry nature of the surface in Adelaide, or the under-fire Graeme Swann will miss out - although Flower insists no decision has yet been made on the line-up.

"The conditions in Perth will be very different," he added.

"We picked two spinners in Adelaide as we adjudged the conditions dry enough to do so and I think that was right considering how it turned on the first day. We will assess those conditions and will obviously pick the side that gives us the best chance of winning.

"Graeme Swann has been an outstanding spin bowler for us over the past four or five years and very much part of England's success but we will assess the conditions and see who will be best able to help us take 20 wickets."

With either Panesar or Swann missing out, Flower admitted that Tim Bresnan is in contention to bolster England's seam attack.

The Yorkshireman proved his fitness after a back injury playing for the England Performance Programme in Queensland, impressing with the bat and ball.

"Bresnan is a strong option for Perth," said Flower. "It is great that he has come back from his back injury.

"He had a good run out with our Performance Programme at the Border Oval the other day and he is fit and available for selection."