England’s over-aggressive behavior during the ongoing ODI series against India has been rather uncalled for. But England coach Andy Flower insists that his team's general conduct was a matter of pride.
"I am very proud of our record and the way we conduct ourselves in international cricket. Generally we set high standards," Flower told reporters on his team's arrival in Mumbai.
On Bresnan's behaviour that led him being slapped with a fine of 7.5 percent of his match fee by match referee Roshan Mahanama, Flower defended his player's conduct, saying he had snatched the cap from the umpire out of frustration and not as a show of dissent and had apologised to the concerned umpire.
"He pleaded not guilty. Firstly, he apologised in the meeting for snatching the cap (from the umpire). Secondly, he said he snatched the cap out of frustration (because of the number of runs he gave). It's nothing to do with dissent, that's what I found. He's fine young man and has a very good disciplinary record," the former Zimbabwe captain said.
Flower also played down India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's post-match comments that England should be nicer to their opposition.
"I have seen some of the comments. As a principle we try to focus on our jobs and we refrain from making moral judgment about the opposition," the England coach said.
"It's important to be nice to your opposition team. When you are under pressure you will definitely commit mistakes."
Flower, however, conceded both teams had behaved improperly at times during the series, which India now lead 3-0.
"I think the officials are there to ensure that sporting conduct occurs and if the game was not played in the right way, it's their job to step in. After the game, the match referee spoke to both captains about both sides' behaviour and I think he was right to do so. The behaviour of both teams should have been better in the second game (at Delhi on October 17)," he said.
The former Zimbabwe wicketkeeper-batsman rued his side's poor batting display as the main reason for losing to the World Cup champions.
"We under-performed, there is no doubt about it. In the first two ODI matches, our highest individual score was about 61 (captain Alastair Cook in the first game at Hyderabad). I think our partnerships were limited. The highest was 70-odd."
"So, simply said you cannot win games in most countries with these type of batting figures, and certainly not in the sub-continent," he said.
Flower also urged the critics to be patient with Cook as a captain before comparing him with Test skipper Andrew Strauss.
"There's no valid comparison between Cook and Strauss."
"There's difference of inexperience (in captaincy). Cook is very highly-regarded and respected in the dressing room and I believe he conducts himself very well and he's a role model for others," he emphasised.