Graham Thorpe

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England flourishing in all formats

England have clinched a record for successive wins in Twenty20 matches, and their form in one-day internationals too does not receive enough credit.

 

Andy Flower has made an incredible impact since taking the reins of the national side and, in conjunction with Andrew Strauss, has created a settled and successful unit.

 

The England captain continues to lead from the front to great effect, and the 33-year-old has a side with the right blend of experience and developing talent.

 

Flower's side are the world champions in the shortest format of the game, while they are now second behind only Australia in 50-over cricket.

 

It is obvious to everyone in the game that the England players are thoroughly enjoying their cricket, and truly believing in what Flower and his staff are trying to achieve.

 

Perhaps English cricket in general is not receiving the credit it deserves with results steadily improving in all formats.

 

There is still a lot of improvement to be made in the county game, with the scheduling and development of young players but, on the whole, there is every reason to be positive.

 

People will always be sceptical about English cricket, but there is no doubt that Flower is the right man to lead the national team and he is doing a sterling job.

 

I think we can look back to around 2000 to see the start of England's resurgence following a dreadful 1999, and we are cultivating players in the right way now.

 

County cricketers should be playing a bit less than they currently do and, in that respect, they are not getting the right deal.

 

It should always be a case of quality not quantity, and that approach should be just as evident in the domestic game as it is within the England set up.

 

International players are given the right workload with a pretty suitable schedule, but county cricketers are asked to play far too much and that can compromise the quality of play.

 

The one thing which English cricket can learn from the set-up in Australia is the number of matches which are played at domestic level.

 

I believe that if county players are managed more efficiently, they can focus more effectively on their technique and physical conditioning.

 

Flower and his staff have the balance just about right for the national side, and it would be good to see the ECB ensure that those principles are adopted throughout county cricket.

 

It is very encouraging to see the number of young players coming through their county sides with an abundance of talent and dedication.

 

England are benefiting from the current crop of talent under Flower's stewardship, and the nation can be optimistic about the next generation.

 

The Ashes, as ever, will provide a very public litmus test for Strauss's side, and that is how they will be judged in the eyes of the supporters.

 

Whatever the result this winter, it is no exaggeration to say that England are among the best sides in all formats of the game at present, and that is a massive improvement.

 

Courtesy: Yahoo! Eurosport UK

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