Specialist players and split coaching make lot of sense for bigger international teams: Andy Flower

New Delhi, 5 Dec: One of the shrewdest minds in world cricket, Andy Flower, feels having different coaches and specialist players for red and white-ball cricket make a “lot of sense” for bigger teams like India, England and Australia amid a punishing international calendar.
Reigning T20 and ODI World Cup champions England are the only major side to adopt the split coaching formula and have a totally different set-up for the five-day and shorter formats.
Flower, who now coaches T20 franchises around the world after spending 12 years in English cricket set-up, feels the mental health of players and coaches is bound to be affected with so much cricket going on.
“For some countries it is not needed. For bigger countries who are playing tons of cricket, players specialising makes sense. It would also make sense from a coaching point of view and a lifestyle and health point of view.
“Being on the road, living in hotels for two or three quarters in a year, that is not a healthy thing for families and relationships,” the former Zimbabwe captain told PTI on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi T10 League.
Commenting on the roaring success of England in the shorter formats, Flower said a lot of credit must go to former captain Eoin Morgan and coach Trevor Bayliss, who engineered the side’s remarkable transformation after a dismal 2015 World Cup.
“The biggest catalyst of change was Eoin Morgan and Trevor Bayliss. They encouraged an uber attacking style of play and they had freedom to do this as they had a poor World Cup in 2015,” said the 54-year-old.
Flower coaches the Lucknow franchise in the IPL and has coached in T20 leagues around the word since 2019. He was with Delhi Bulls for the T10 League in Abu Dhabi.
His captain at Lucknow, K L Rahul, has copped a fait bit of criticism of late for his strike rate. Asked to comment on his recent performances, Flower said: “I don’t agree with you that he has not been able to deliver.
“He has proved time and time again that he is able to deliver. He is an amazing cricketer and so beautiful to watch but also he has got an amazing record, especially in the IPL, and a ridiculously good average. I rate him very highly.”
Talking about the T10 format, Flower said the 10-over a side game is an ideal pitch for cricket’s entry into the Olympics.
“T10 is an excellent format. It is very exciting to be part of. It is a very aggressive form of the game. Because it has a shorter time span, it makes it very attractive for tournament play, you can play three day games in a day on the same pitch. For me this would be a perfect format for cricket’s entry into the olympics.
“At the moment the most popular form of cricket is T20 and that format, too, is growing. I would be surprised if T10 did not grow in popul-arity,” he added. (PTI)