Andy Flower not underestimating Australia ahead of Ashes battle
England team director Andy Flower hopes his side will not be complacent in the Ashes series against Australia.
Last Updated: 01/07/13 11:35am
In contrast to the last two series, Alastair Cook's side are clear favourites to retain the Ashes against an Australian team that has been labelled as the worst in 30 years by experts Down Under.
Flower is wary of resting on his laurels and is aware England have shown certain frailties in the Test arena, although he is still confident it will be his side lifting the famous urn for the third time in a row this summer.
The Zimbabwean told the Daily Mail: "The 2009 Ashes were probably won against expectation and winning away was again I'd say won against expectation because Australia had such an amazing record at home before we beat them there.
"Now we're expected to win and that does bring a different challenge.
"Yes, we go into this series as favourites but anyone who knows about the game would also admit that we aren't as good as some people are saying and the Australians are not as poor as some people are saying.
"We know that they will be dangerous and we respect them as such. But we also know we are a very good Test side and have a group of players who are excellent fighters."
Flower also had soothing words for Nick Compton, who was overlooked for England's warm-up game against Essex, with national selector Geoff Miller indicating that Joe Root was "currently the best opening partner for Alastair Cook".
Despite scoring two centuries in New Zealand, Compton appeared ill at ease in the return series against the Black Caps which made his place vulnerable for the Ashes.
However, he sent a reminder to the selectors with a gutsy innings of 81 for Somerset against Australia at Taunton earlier this week, with Flower hoping he can continue to show his credentials.
"You never know what's round the corner. He must ensure he's in pole position should anything unfortunate occur to the men in possession. Runs against Australia for Somerset were the perfect start," Flower added.
"He's very hungry to succeed and I love seeing that hunger in a player."