England’s lack of cohesion was in the spotlight again on Wednesday after wicket-keeper Paul Nixon took aim at captain Andrew Flintoff’s claims about their fielding in Australia.
Nixon also contradicted coach Duncan Fletcher’s assertion that the players had been training too hard, underlining the disarray in the England side during their calamitous tour Down Under.
He said England had cost themselves valuable runs on Tuesday with fumbles and poor throws — even though Flintoff had said the side’s fielding had “improved a lot.”
“The catching on the whole this tour has been slightly under par,” Nixon said on Wednesday, adding that some of the English players struggled with the bright conditions in Australia.
“We’ve had a lot of fielding sessions, we’ve worked very hard on our fielding and gone through everything. But nothing is the same as the intensity of the game,” he explained.
“There are a lot of young lads in the side that have been thrown into the cauldron. They need to learn from that, and we have to make sure we lift our standards every game,” he added.
Nixon rejected Fletcher’s assessment that the side may have been training too hard.
“I don’t agree with that,” he said. “If I am hitting the ball badly, I get in the nets. It doesn’t just happen, I need to get my mindset right,” he explained.
In another sign of disarray just weeks out from the World Cup, England management has been speaking to veteran seamer Darren Gough, just a week after he was omitted from their 30-man provisional squad for the tournament.
Gough, who had been believed to be considering retirement in the wake of his omission, is currently in Australia playing in a beach cricket tournament with former greats of the game.
But in a display of unity, Nixon defended star batsman Kevin Pietersen, who was criticised by former Australian captain Allan Border for being too keen to return home after suffering a cracked rib.
“It’s a big call from Mr Border,” Nixon said. “What more could Kevin do? He’s got a broken rib and why aggravate that when you’ve got the World Cup coming up. Kevin has played well out here, he’s stood up and been counted and really taken it to the Aussies. Our world class player has been injured and that has cost us,” he added.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Thursday, February 1st, 2007 and is filed under General.
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