Cricket - Flower hails India triumph

Andy Flower senses England's Test team may have reached a turning point with their historic series victory in India.

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Cricket - Flower hails India triumph
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Andy Flower heaped praise on England

Alastair Cook's tourists defied the pessimistic expectations of many by recovering from a nine-wicket drubbing in the first Test in Ahmedabad to win successive matches in Mumbai and Kolkata and then clinch the series with Tuesday's draw in Nagpur.

In doing so, they finished a tough year on a significant high. Asked if the fightback in India - completed thanks to centuries by Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell - could be a turning point, he said: "I think it is."

Under Cook's predecessor Andrew Strauss, a dual Ashes-winning captain, England fell from grace in 2012 with series defeats against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last winter and then at home to South Africa.

Their hard-earned world number one Test status was a thing of the past by the time Strauss retired four months ago - and even after their 2-1 victory here, a first in India for almost 28 years, they have lost seven of 15 matches this year.

Coach Flower believes, however, there is no reason why the future cannot be a bright one for Cook's team.

Flower added: "We had a tough time in the UAE against Pakistan at the start of the year, and one of the most satisfying things at the minute - certainly for me, and I'm sure for the players - is that they've shown they can score runs.

"Even some of the older guys, that have been around and have excellent Test career achievements, have still adapted their game and shown their game can improve. They've done that in conditions where English teams don't historically do very well. I think everyone is very proud of that."

Generations of England batsmen, in particular, have been found wanting in India since David Gower's 1984-85 tourists also prevailed by a 2-1 margin.

"It's very satisfying for that group of 30 blokes to have come out here and adapted to these conditions and overcome the opposition," added Flower. "It's taken a lot of hard work, a lot of thought and a lot of skill out there in the middle - and they should be very proud of themselves."

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