andy flower
Andy Flower (AFP Photo)

England Lions head coach Andy Flower is looking forward to the tour of India as a chance to give youngsters a feel of the subcontinent conditions.

England Lions will face India A in Kerala from next week in a five-match one-day series followed by two unofficial Tests – all in Thiruvananthapuram.

“Both sides will want to play good, winning cricket but I think we all understand that it’s the development opportunity for these high potential youngsters that we’re after,” Flower told England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) official website.

“The purpose of these Lions tours is to offer our highest potential young talent in the country the opportunity to either train or to play in a competitive tour in foreign conditions. Our county system is good; there are some really talented, outstanding cricketers that come out of it.”

The squad is led by Sam Billings and includes players of the likes of Ollie Pope and Ben Duckett. Flower says the tour will offer his players a chance to tackle different pressure situations.

“What the county system doesn’t do is offer them these overseas opportunities, so we can do that and have the resources to do it. We get into foreign conditions, with different pitches, different oppositions, different environments, different climates and sometimes different pressures – like the pressure of being on tour for five or six weeks. Some people handle that really easily, some don’t,” he said.

The series also presents a chance to the likes of Duckett to resurrect his international career in the very environment where his stock swerved sharply downwards. Duckett played the last of his four Test matches in India in November 2016, struggling with scores of 13, 5 and 0 – out each time to R Ashwin’s offspin.