Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss ‘the key to England’s success’
Former Kent cricketer David Fulton hails the positive impact of Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower on England's Test side
Ex-Kent batsman David Fulton believes the leadership of Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower has been key to creating a winning formula for England.
Currently ranked the number one Test team in the world after mercilessly whitewashing a poor Indian side this summer, England remain unbeaten in Tests in 2011.
They also sit at the top of the Twenty20 rankings as reigning World Champions and Fulton believes the current side is as good as he has seen.
“You can trace it back to the leadership of Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower coming together and the hard-work ethic they introduced, the structure they put in place,” Fulton told The Sport Review.
“Add to that the fact that most of the players have been performing consistently well and you’ve got a formula for perhaps the most successful side England has ever had.”
It is a structure that has been forensically scrutinised since Flower became head coach in April 2009.
At first, a number of ex-professionals were quick to criticise the size of England’s support staff, but as ECB Managing Director Hugh Morris pointed out, these opinions fell silent as the team progressed.
But England’s model of employing numerous key-area support staff “˜specialists’ has now become the blueprint adopted by other international sides.
“Andy Flower is a good judge of character and I think he has got the right people doing the right jobs,” said Fulton.
“His attention to detail is second to none and I don’t think he ever seems completely happy, but I mean that in a good way because he’s always striving to improve.”
Obviously, however good the management structure in place, the squad must still contain quality players capable of performing consistently well, which is something England possess in abundance.
They currently have four players ranked in the top 10 batsmen in the world and three in the top 10 bowlers, with Jimmy Anderson second only to the outstanding South African, Dale Steyn.
As the old cricketing adage goes, “˜bowlers win you matches’, and Fulton was quick to highlight the talent and depth England possess in that department.
“The bowlers have come together, Jimmy Anderson has always been a class act and is just about in his pomp now,” he said.
“Throw in the likes of Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan who has always been a good cricketer, and then you’ve got Finn and Tremlett, and that’s a very strong battery of quicks.”
“Plus you have Graeme Swann who has been simply superb so all-round the bowling department is incredibly strong,” he added.
England’s next opponents are the talented Pakistan side undergoing a resurgence under the stewardship of Misbah-ul-Haq.
The series, which begins in Dubai next month, presents the next challenge to England’s dominance of the Test arena but with Flower at the helm they will definitely be ready for the fight.