Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower 'key to England success'
Team director Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss are key to England's stunning success, says England Cricket managing director Hugh Morris.
Victory over India in the third Test at Edgbaston, which starts on Wednesday, will confirm England's ascent to the top of the world Test rankings.
"One of the most important reasons is we have outstanding leadership in Flower and Strauss," said Morris.
"They've shown a clear direction and vision to the players and management."
Hugh Morris ECB managing director
“Andy's committed himself to England and will be doing so with rigour”
Under Flower and Strauss, England have won seven and drawn one of their last eight Test series - including Ashes successes home and away against Australia - to lift them up the world rankings.
"A lot of hard work has gone in over the last few years to get us to this position," Morris told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme.
"The short-term target is to win at Edgbaston and what we've got to try and do is sustain it over a period of time.
Morris sees the partnership of Flower and Strauss as central to the team's future development.
And the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) secured Flower's future by tying him to a fresh staff contract in May.
ENGLAND SERIES RESULTS
- 2009: England 2-0 West Indies
- 2009: England 2-1 Australia
- 2009/10: South Africa 1-1 England
- 2009/10: Bangladesh 0-2 England
- 2010: England 2-0 Bangladesh
- 2010: England 3-1 Pakistan
- 2010/11: Australia 1-3 England
- 2011: England 1-0 Sri Lanka
"Very recently Andy committed his future to England cricket," said Morris. "We always said that after the Ashes and World Cup we would sit down and begin to plot a strategy over the next period of time.
"He's on a staff employment contract, he's got a long-term notice period to that contract and he's very committed to the post"
Morris is equally enthusiastic about Strauss' suitability to the captaincy role on a long-term basis.
"Over the past couple of years Andrew has shown he's got fantastic leadership capabilities and he's doing a great job and he's very driven to continue to do that job," said Morris.
"His record is there for all to see - of the last eight Test match series we've won seven and drawn one and we're obviously in a really good position against India."
Strauss stepped down as one-day international captain and announced his retirement from the format in May, leading to the appointment of Alastair Cook as his replacement. At the same time, Stuart Broad was named Twenty20 skipper.
Morris feels this is to England's long-term benefit in all three formats of the game, with a busy international programme.
Morris also highlighted the strength and depth now available to England and the hunger amongst this group to continue to excel on the international stage.
"We've tried to put some building blocks in place over recent years and to have a strong conveyor belt of players coming into the team," he added.
"We have a group of very driven players who want to achieve great things in the game."