28 Mar 2013

England coach admits players need to improve for Ashes

5:36 am on 28 March 2013

The England cricket coach Andy Flower admits his players will need to show significant improvement from their drawn series against New Zealand, if they're to retain the Ashes against Australia this year.

Flower's side narrowly avoided a series loss to the Black Caps, when they saved the third and final test in Auckland on Tuesday.

But Flower concedes that lacklustre showing won't be enough against Australia, who travel to England before hosting a second Ashes series later this year.

While England were struggling to avoid defeat in New Zealand, Australia slumped to a four-nil series loss in India, where Flower's side won 2-1 three months earlier.

Even so, Flower refuses to write off the Australians preferring to focus on England's forthcoming rematch against New Zealand on home soil, which serves as a warm-up for the Ashes.