Moores has faith in Ambrose
England coach Peter Moores has given his full backing to struggling wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose.
Last Updated: 30/06/08 7:41pm
Tim Ambrose will not be low on confidence when the Test series against South Africa starts on July 10, according to England coach Peter Moores.
The Warwickshire wicketkeeper managed just 10 runs during the entire 3-1 NatWest Series defeat against New Zealand and also missed chances behind the stumps, most notably a skier off Jamie How early in Saturday's 51-run loss at Lord's.
Ambrose has been rested from this week's County Championship action due to a bruised thumb, meaning he will get no further match practice ahead of the series-opener against the Proteas.
Asked if his one-day struggles would affect Ambrose's performances in the longer format, Moores said: "I don't think so because he has done really well in Test match cricket and he has been settled there.
"He's been part of a side which has won four of its last five games, which is a really good feeling.
"So when that Test team comes around he will be happy to start again, start afresh and that he has got some runs early in his Test match career. He will be refreshed and ready to go.
"Tim has had a couple of tough games and he will be disappointed he hasn't scored more runs in the series.
"But one thing I think Tim has done really well since he has come into the job is keep beautifully.
"We know he has kept pretty well because no-one has talked about it."
England have slipped to seventh in the International Cricket Council's one-day rankings by virtue of the defeat to the Kiwis.
"It is obviously disappointing to lose a series because - especially in England - it's one we really thought we could win," added Moores.
"After playing them in New Zealand and getting to the stage where we could have tied the series in the last game, we thought we started well in this one but give them credit for coming back strongly."
England announce their squad for the first Test against South Africa on Thursday and Moores admitted the selectors are cautious about the possible inclusion of Andrew Flintoff.
The Lancashire all-rounder has recently returned to county action following a seven-week absence due to a side strain.
That injury prevented him resuming his international career against New Zealand during the first half of the summer, having undergone a fourth ankle operation last autumn.
"The one thing about Andrew is he is back on the park and bowling which is great," noted Moores, who sits on the four-man selection panel.
"But we are also sensible about it because we know you have to be bowling fit rather than just get the injury right - that is common sense - and so far we've gone through with Andrew and done it right.
"We've taken plenty of time with this latest injury, he's worked hard to get back on the park, so the first job is to get out there and play.
"We will meet up and talk about that Test match team but we have to be sure that we're not going to put Andrew Flintoff in jeopardy if we don't think he is bowling fit."