Henry Olonga insists Andy Flower has provided England with the missing ingredient to make them world beaters.
The former fast bowler, who played alongside Flower for Zimbabwe, insists that the former world number one batsman has to take huge credit for England’s recent resurgence.
And Olonga believes Flower could be heading for the ultimate success this winter – winning The Ashes in Australia.
Olonga told talkSPORT.co.uk: “Andy has transformed this England team. They were a mediocre team before he took over – I don’t think I’m being unkind by saying that – but now they are world beaters. They won the Twenty20 World Cup and it doesn’t get better than that.
“He’s not only talented, but he’s a great thinker about the game as well. When he first took over he got rid of the analyst who used to go through the way the players batted and bowled. Andy said he didn’t want that guy, he wanted the players to think for themselves. That’s the kind of coach he is.
“He took over from Peter Moores, who had problems with Kevin Pietersen, and he stamped his authority on things straight away. He gets a lot of respect from players because of his own achievements as a player, and that counts for something.
“If you’re going to be the coach of a national side then you have to have the respect of your players, and Andy’s got that.”
Flower has enjoyed almost non-stop success since taking over the role of team director in April 2009, including last summer’s Ashes win, and Olonga now believes he and his team can repeat that success Down Under this winter.
“The Ashes is the litmus teat, and can they pass that test in Australia? That remains to be seen,” added Olonga.
“But let’s not forget England are the current holders of The Ashes and are going there to try to retain them.
“They’ve got a good mix of players who are playing with aggression, and this England team is a hot cricket team.
“There’s a bit of controversy about the number of South Africans in the team, but maybe that’s helped them because by nature South Africans are aggressive and you’ve got to be aggressive if you’re going to beat Australia.
“You’ve got to assert yourself and get on top of them otherwise they’ll run with away with the game.
“And this is not the Australia of old with the likes of Warne, McGrath, Steve and Mark Waugh. This is an Australia that’s lost the winning habit and they’re frail, they’ve got some weaknesses.
“They are not a rubbish team by any stretch of the imagination but they are not the force they used to be. It could go either way.
“Test cricket is about little battles within the game and, if England can win those, they can retain The Ashes.”