London: Andy Flower can now be called England’s best-ever coach due to his ability to adapt and change methods when they are not working, according to senior cricket writer Andy Bull.
Bull said Flower was brave enough to change his methods to help England secure a historic 2-1 Test series win over Indian on their home turf after 2012 had become the worst calendar year in more than a decade.
“England started 2012 as the best Test team in the world and yet lost seven Test matches and two series, a record, which made it their worst calendar year in more than a decade. The ship did not just drift off course, it started to sink,” Bull wrote in his column for the Guardian.
“Success bred complacency for Flower`s England team, just as it did for Duncan Fletcher`s after the 2005 Ashes. Against Pakistan in the UAE, he made the mistake of allowing his team to coast into the series. They arrived 10 days before the first Test, and played only two half-hearted warm-ups,” he added.
“In India they took three weeks to prepare, stopping off at the ICC``s Cricket Academy in Dubai on the way, and they played three full warm-up games before they got to Ahmedabad. Still, after the defeat there in the first Test, all that preparation seemed to count for nothing,” he further wrote.
Bull added: “He rallied his team, just as he had after the defeats against the West Indies at Kingston in 2009 and Australia at Headingley that same year. That is the mark of the man.
Flower has created an environment where his players are able to confront the team`s failings without compromising their strengths.”
“He is, indisputably, the finest coach England have ever had, having overseen once-in-a-generation series wins in Australia and India, the two hardest tasks in international cricket,” he concluded.
First Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 15:05