‘This does feel like the end of an era and a chance of some sort of renewal for the England cricket team’ admits Andy Flower

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“We’ve underperformed badly”

England team director Andy Flower has admitted that the national team’s 5-0 whitewashing in the Ashes series felt “like the end of an era” and ended the “chance of some sort of renewal for the England cricket team”.

Australia completed their whitewash of England with a dominating 281-run win in Sydney.

“This does feel like the end of an era and a chance of some sort of renewal for the England cricket team,” Flower 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 also conceded that Australia left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson had completely ripped through his side time and time again throughout the series.

Johnson was named Man of the Series for his 37 wickets, which came at a brilliant average of 13.97.

“Australia’s bowling has been outstanding,” Flower said. “Mitchell Johnson’s pace has been a huge difference between the two sides. “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 asked why pace bowler Steven Finn had not played a single match, 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 added that the media should stop aiming all their criticisms towards captain Alastair Cook or any other player in particular.

“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.”

Despite the national team being whitewashed, Flower stated that he was still “proud to be associated with England cricket”.

“I still enjoy it, still find it fascinating,” he said. “It’s a great job and I’m very proud to be associated with England cricket.”

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