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Cricket: No fears over Tim; ENGLAND: Moores backing Ambrose.

ENGLAND coach Peter Moores insists wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose will not be short of confidence when the npower Test series against South Africa begins next week.

Ambrose, England's current gloveman, managed only 10 runs in the 3-1 NatWest Series defeat to New Zealand and has also missed chances behind the stumps, most notably a skier early in Saturday's 51-run loss at Lord's.

A bruised thumb has kept the Warwickshire man out of County Championship action this week, meaning he will get no further practice ahead of the fourmatch campaign.

Asked whether his one-day struggles would affect Ambrose's performances, Moores said: "I don't think so because he has done really well in Test match cricket and he has been settled there.

"He's been part of a side which has won four of its last five games, which is a really good feeling.

"So when that Test team comes around he will be happy to start again, start afresh and that he has got some runs early in his Test match career. He will be refreshed and ready to go.

"Tim has had a couple of tough games and he will be disappointed he hasn't scored more runs in the series.

"But one thing I think Tim has done really well since he has come into the job is keep beautifully.

"We know he has kept pretty well because noone has talked about it."

England have slipped to seventh in the official one-day rankings by virtue of the defeat to the Kiwis.

"It is obviously disappointing to lose a series because - especially in England - it's one we really thought we could win," said Moores.

"After playing them in New Zealand and getting to the stage where we could have tied the series in the last game, we thought we started well in this one but give them credit for coming back strongly."

England arguably missed key all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, particularly in Saturday's defeat when the side struggled to cover the loss of suspended captain Paul Collingwood's overs.

Technically he will be available for the first Test against the Proteas, although the England selectors, who announce their squad on Thursday, appear to be of cautious mind following Flintoff's fourth ankle operation last autumn.

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ONE-DAY STRUGGLE... Warwickshire's Tim Ambrose.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jun 30, 2008
Words:380
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