MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - England coach Andy Flower allowed himself a rare smile after his side retained the Ashes but the decision review system is prompting headaches and he wants the authorities to sort it out.
The tough taskmaster does not tolerate ordinary from his team and the performance of the decision review system (DRS) in the drawn Old Trafford test was far from satisfactory.
Australia’s Usman Khawaja was given out in the first innings by the on-field umpire and third umpire despite no evidence he touched the ball while Kevin Pietersen did appear to nick behind in England’s second innings but Hotspot failed to pick it up.
“Firstly umpiring is a very tricky business but I would say that there are very clear protocols to use and to stick to and I think some calm decision-making needs to be made over the next two tests,” he told reporters.
“I think there are improvements that can be made. There are improvements in the use of the technology and the use of experts who know how to use the technology that could make a difference to getting better results.”
The holders will keep the urn as they are 2-0 up with two to play after Monday’s stalemate in Manchester, with Flower believing hard work was key rather than the rain which wiped out the last two sessions as Australia scented victory.
“Retaining the Ashes is important of course and I’m very proud of the team and the team are obviously proud after a hard-fought test, a hard-fought three tests to be in this position. But we do want to go on to Durham and win up there,” he said ahead of the fourth test starting on Friday.
“I thought the fight and resilience and character that we showed in that first innings is the reason why we drew this test.”
Counterpart Darren Lehmann was disappointed not to get over the line with England teetering on 37 for three chasing 332 when the rain set in.
However, he was glad to end English talk of a 5-0 whitewash and reckoned he had seen enough of a comeback at Old Trafford for his Australia side to manage a 2-2 series draw.
“The last five days we’ve been outstanding, We’ve put England under a lot of pressure. We are not going to lose 5-0 so that’s a start. I think momentum has shifted but only time will tell,” he said.
“We’ve showed some cracks in their batting which is exciting for our bowling unit.”
Lehmann said the impromptu half-day off on Monday meant fast bowler Ryan Harris has a chance of playing at Chester-le-Street from Friday despite his fragile body usually ruling him out of back-to-back tests.
The coach was also candid about whether Shane Watson will stay in his prized opening spot after David Warner was bumped up the order in the quickfire second innings in Manchester.
“Whether (Watson) makes an opener only time will tell,” he said despite the former vice captain having played 44 tests and Lehmann saying he was his preferred opener in his first public pronouncement when named coach in June.
“When you can play a bowler in the top six it’s a big advantage so as an all-rounder, no dramas. The reason we swapped round was for David Warner to have a go. We might keep doing that.”
Editing by Pritha Sarkar