Flower doesn't want knee-jerk changes

England

The composition of England's XI for the remainder of the Ashes series remained in the balance on Wednesday, as coach Andy Flower warded off suggestion of wholesale changes.

The composition of England's XI for the remainder of the Ashes series remained in the balance on Wednesday, as coach Andy Flower warded off suggestion of wholesale changes.

England have slipped to a heavy three-nil series defeat in the wake of heavy losses in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth – and will face a daunting task in avoiding a whitewash in Melbourne and Sydney.

The visiting batsmen have endured a poor stretch of form, with the left-handed Alastair Cook and the right-handed Kevin Pietersen's respective averages of 25.66 and 27.50 epitomising the woe.

"The loss was only on Tuesday," Flower told <i>BBC Sport</i>. "I want to meet with our coaches, I need to meet with Cook.

"We need to decide whether we're merely focusing on these two games or looking further into the future and exposing other players.

But we haven't had those meetings yet, we haven't had those discussions. I need to meet with the selectors as well and we'll get some clarity on those issues."

Former fast bowler Bob Willis, meanwhile, has insisted spinner Graeme Swann and wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior be dropped.

Swann's seven wickets for the series have come at the costly average of 80.00, while Prior has accrued just 107 runs in six innings – and missed two straightforward stumping opportunities on the weekend.

"Swann should be sacked. No doubt about that. You can't keep playing Swann, his wickets are costing a lot. All the right-handers have got the wood over him," added Willis. "You've got to give Monty Panesar a go.

"I'd like to send a message out to some of the players. I'd make more than one change. Prior wouldn't be the only one to go. I don't think Michael Carberry, in the long term, is a good enough player to play Test cricket."

The fourth Test will get underway at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 26 December. The Sydney Cricket Ground will host the fifth and final fixture, starting on 3 January.

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