Ashes 2013: England want to win series - Andy Flower

 

England are now focused on winning the series rather than celebrating retaining the Ashes, says team director Andy Flower.

The drawn third Test at Old Trafford put the hosts 2-0 up against Australia with two Tests to play.

Flower insists the England players are already focusing on the fourth Test, which starts on Friday at Durham.

"There are no extravagant celebrations... we want to win the series," he said.

"We are only three matches into a five-match series and are two-nil up, so we want to win at Durham."

Fewest days for England to retain Ashes

Score Tests to retain Days to retain

* Two matches remaining in 2013 series.

1905

2-0

4

12

2013

2-0*

3

14

1884-85

3-2

5

15

1972

2-2

4

17

England needed the help of the Manchester rain to secure the urn they won in 2009 and defended down under in 2010-11.

Conceding a first-innings deficit of 159, England were set a victory target of 332 when Australia declared their second innings on 172-7 before play began on day five.

More realistically, it looked like the home side would need to bat out the day in order to earn an unassailable series lead.

And, after England had slumped to 37-3, afternoon rain ensured only three balls were possible after lunch, with a draw being agreed at 16:40 BST.

Captain Alastair Cook says England have not been at their best despite retaining the Ashes in only 14 days.

"We showed a lot of fighting character to get through this game," said 28-year-old Cook.

"We might not have played our best cricket but we're proving we're quite a hard side to beat."

Cook agrees with Flower that the team are focused on winning the series at Chester-le-Street, but feels that his side must improve on their performance in Manchester.

"The first objective was to retain the Ashes - now we want to go on and win them. We need to up our levels a little bit at Durham," he said.

The Old Trafford Test, like the England wins at Trent Bridge and Lord's earlier in the series, saw a number of controversies surrounding the Decision Review System (DRS).

England players on Twitter:

Kevin Pietersen:  Ashes retained.. Wow! What a feeling.. Outstanding by this team to do it in 3 Tests. Thank you for being so nice during this Test! It was an incredibly proud moment when I found out about the record.. More runs to come!

Stuart Broad:  We have retained the Ashes and it feels magnificent!!!

Graeme Swann:  "Many times I have cursed the rain in Manchester, but today I would take it home to meet my grandma and marry it."

Australia asked for answers from the International Cricket Council (ICC) after batsman Usman Khawaja was given out caught behind in their first innings, while England's Kevin Pietersen looked to be angry when he got a similar decision on the fifth day.

"Both sides have been quite confused by some of the decisions that have occurred," said Cook, who has lost only one of 12 Tests since taking over as captain from Andrew Strauss last winter.

"We're a little bit confused at the moment as to why certain decisions have been overturned and certain decisions haven't been overturned. I think it's pretty even but hopefully the ICC can iron things out."

Flower accepts DRS has caused controversy during the series, but still backs the use of the technology.

"I don't think it has been particularly successful in the series, but people need to remember going back to two umpires making decisions on their own is not going to make any greater percentage of right decisions," he said.

"Umpires on the field are making a number of errors themselves. That is not the answer - the answer is some clear and calm decision-making using the protocols and the technology that are available at the moment."

England meet Australia in the final two Tests of the series at Chester-le-Street and The Oval before embarking on an immediate defence of the Ashes down under this winter.

"We've made a conscious effort not to put the two series together," Cook said. "When we get to Australia we'll concentrate on trying to win them again."

Flower wants the players focused on winning this series, but says the backroom staff have already started planning for the return series in Australia, which starts in Brisbane on 21 November.

"Inside the dressing room and in our conversations with the players we don't talk about our tour to Australia. But outside of the dressing room, in the planning rooms, of course we've thought about the other Ashes. We have various plans in place," he said.