Andy Flower Set for Talks over England Future After Ashes Horror Show

Danny Collins@@dannycollins89Featured ColumnistDecember 30, 2013

Andy Flower faces the media after his team's abject display in Melbourne
Andy Flower faces the media after his team's abject display in MelbourneGareth Copley/Getty Images

Andy Flower faces crunch talks over his job following England's humiliating Ashes tour, reports Cricinfo's Andrew McGlashan.

England's Test coach and his side have experienced a torrid time Down Under as they face a 5-0 series whitewash heading into the final Test in Sydney on Friday. 

Last week's battering in Melbourne was all the more painful given England's position of strength after bowling Australia out for 162 in their first innings. 

And it is Zimbabwean Flower who will have questions to answer following the eight-wicket defeat, as per Cricinfo

Certainly I examine my role in the tour. I ask myself tough questions, but my focus at the moment is the Sydney Test match. Paul Downton the new managing director has arrived in Australia and I'll be meeting with him in Sydney.

We'll talk about the leadership of the national team with regards to the coaching position. I'm very motivated to contribute to English cricket and that's what I'm going to do.

The Daily Mirror's Dean Wilson lambasted England's tactical ineptitude, saying that from a position of strength, England have been outmaneuvered by a resurgent Australia side. 

Former England captain Michael Vaughan was less than effusive about England's performance.

But Flower was not the only man to come in for flak following the festive fiasco in Melbourne. 

Captain Alastair Cook has been the fulcrum of England's dominance in recent years, but the Essex opener has found runs hard to come by in Australia with an average of only 27.70, as per Cricinfo.

Only Ian Bell with 62.44 has averaged more than 50. 

Captain Alastair Cook has faced the first real test of his captaincy Down Under
Captain Alastair Cook has faced the first real test of his captaincy Down UnderScott Barbour/Getty Images

It is not only the results on the pitch that have made life difficult for Flower. 

The decision by spinner Graeme Swann to retire mid-tour caught Flower unaware, and the talismanic Kevin Pietersen has been desperately short of runs.

Flower tried to persuade Swann to complete the series, reports David Clough of the Press Association, via The Daily Mail.

Graeme Swann has done an outstanding job for England over the last six or so years.

I think he's the seventh-highest Test wicket-taker in English history. To do that over 60 Test matches is a great effort, and he's been a huge part of our success over the last few years.

I've been very proud to have had him in the side, and I know he can retire very proudly. In saying that, I would have liked him to have seen the tour out.

Should Flower stay on after the Ashes tour, his next task would see him prepare the side for the visit of Sri Lanka and India this summer. 

Former England spinner Ashley Giles now leads the One-Day and Twenty20 teams after Flower relinquished the day-to-day running of the sides.