| LEEDS, England
LEEDS, England Aug 10 England will consider
bolstering their top order following their dismal performance in
the fourth Ashes test, coach Andy Flower said.
England's numbers three, four and five -- Ravi Bopara, Ian
Bell and Paul Collingwood -- contributed just 16 runs in the
match which they lost by an innings and 80 runs to leave the
series against Australia level at 1-1 going into next week's
decider at the Oval.
"That was a very bad performance, it was bad from ball one,"
Flower told reporters. "We have to think about the middle order.
We've got one ton in this series - Andrew Strauss is holding us
Bopara is under particular pressure having failed to reach
fifty in the series.
"Ravi Bopara has had a hard time," Flower said. "He was very
confident coming in, but he's taken some knocks."
Bopara looked to have cemented his place in the team after
making three centuries in a row against West Indies this year
but he has struggled badly against the Australians.
England called Jonathan Trott into the squad for the
Headingley test and he could make his debut at the Oval.
"When Bopara came in and scored three tons he looked good,
composed, certainly talented enough, but the jury was still out
about whether or not he was a number three," Flower said.
"Trott was the next middle-order player that I, Strauss and
the selectors thought would come in. He's in good form, he's
been in the set-up before."
Flower said England would not be panicking.
"I don't want to look back and pick every single decision we
made to pieces," he said.
"I don't think we're in disarray, we're 1-1 with a chance to
win. Let's let this poor result settle and then we'll make
"It'll be a good test wicket at The Oval, if we play really
well, we'll win the game. We took 20 wickets at Lord's on a good
deck, we can do it again."
Flower said he was hopeful all-rounder Andrew Flintoff would
be fit to return to the team after missing the Headingley test.
"If he's there it'll be great to have a world-class
all-rounder around, if not we'll have to do it without him,"
"I don't want to put a percentage on his fitness, but he
must be ready to bowl at least 15 overs a day."
(Editing by Justin Palmer; to query or comment on this story