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Jan 20, 2012 at 05:28pm IST

Flower wants improvement from England

Dubai: England coach Andy Flower wants the team to pick up its intensity after losing the first Test against Pakistan by 10 wickets.

It was England's first Test defeat in 13 months, although they had not played a Test since beating India at The Oval in August.

England have been unbeaten in their last nine Test series, but more importantly, in the subcontinent or Middle East they have beaten only Bangladesh over the last 10 years.

Flower wants improvement from England

It was England's first Test defeat in 13 months.

"This team has done great things in the recent past, but you have to move on from the past and live in the present," Flower said on Friday, a day after the crushing loss.

England got good preparation for the series against Pakistan with two three-day warmup matches in which it defeated an ICC Combined XI and Pakistan Cricket Board XI.

But England were then blown out for 192 and 160 and Pakistan won the first of three Tests with two days to spare. Pakistan tallied 338 then 15 without loss under fading light on Thursday.

England failed to negotiate the spin of Saeed Ajmal, who took his career's second 10-wicket haul that included 7-55 in the first innings.

"Even though this wasn't a huge turning pitch, it had certain qualities that were different to what we come across in England," Flower said.

"All our players relish the challenge of being able to adapt to different conditions and bowlers. That's what makes it exciting."

England might have to rethink their starting lineup for the second Test at Abu Dhabi next week after it left out left-arm spinner Monty Panesar and went in with three seamers. But Flower was not ready to accept that England missed Panesar.

"We all know that it was the batting that let us down in this test," he said.

"Our bowlers did a superb job to bring us back into the game, and if we'd batted better in the second innings, we might have been able to put them under some pressure."

England batsmen, especially in the second innings, fell to some shocking shot selection with Kevin Pietersen needlessly pulling and both openers, captain Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook, conceding edges down the legside.

"If you make poor decisions in Test cricket, you get severely punished for it," Flower said.

"Our batsmen have a record of making a lot of very good decisions, and that's part of the reason why we've done so well recently.

"We've made some incredible first innings scores ... to put the opposition under pressure. On this occasion we weren't good enough to do that."

For Flower, all is not lost.

"One of the exciting things is that there are two Tests left so we can still win the series," he said.

"I'd much rather be 1-0 up standing here ... it's going to take a lot of great cricket to ensure firstly that we get up level with them, and then see if we can win."

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