England in India 2012

Cook positive over split coaches

George Dobell in Kolkata

December 4, 2012

Comments: 5 | Text size: A | A

Alastair Cook speaks at a press conference, Mumbai, October 29, 2012
A separate England coach for one-day cricket can energise England according to Alastair Cook, a captain who must work with both of them © Associated Press
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The addition of a separate coach for limited-overs cricket will instil the England squad with new energy according to Alastair Cook.

England last week announced the appointment of Ashley Giles as the coach of the England limited-overs sides, with Andy Flower retaining overall management of all three sides but only day-to-day involvement with the Test side.

Now Cook, England's ODI and Test captain, has welcomed the addition of Giles to the coaching staff and, in a clear hint that Flower was considering turning his back on the England job entirely, expressed his delight that the his services had been retained at all.

"It's great that we've managed to keep hold of Andy," Cook, who admitted he did not try to talk Flower out of the decision, said. "He's a great person to be involved with and we're also adding more experience into the coaching team with Ashley coming on board. It is exciting times and I am sure it will work well."

Cook denied any suggestion that Flower's authority would be diluted by the arrangement and pointed to England's use of three captains - one for each format - which had worked seamlessly until the retirement of Andrew Strauss saw Cook take on the ODI and Test roles.

"It is very clear that Andy is still the team director," Cook said, "and to me it is very similar to what happened with the three captains. That worked well and there is no reason why this can't work well with the people involved. Having three captains gave new energy to each form of the game and I can see that happening here. Also, the coaches will have a little more time to prepare for each series. It is new, so it is virgin territory, but I can't see why it won't work really well.

"A lot of the coaches' work is done when we're not playing. It's great that we've managed to keep hold of Andy, he's a great person to be involved with, and we're also adding more experience into the coaching team with Ashley coming on board."

Cook admitted he did not know what style of coach Giles might be, but he provided a ringing endorsement of his character and his record in county cricket. As director of cricket at Edgbaston, Giles led Warwickshire to the County Championship title in 2012 and also saw the team contest two and win one Lord's one-day final in the last three seasons. Cook also felt that Giles' record as a player who made the most of his limited ability should render him well-suited to a coaching role.

"What Giles has had is a lot of success at Warwickshire," Cook said. "He's turned that club around. All the reports coming out of Warwickshire are that he is doing a fantastic job. He is a really good character and he knows what it takes to succeed at international level.

"He did it the hard way as well. He would probably be the first to admit he wasn't the most naturally gifted of cricketers but, my God, he worked hard to get results. I assume he'll be carrying that into his coaching as well. As I say, he's done a great job at Warwickshire and I'm really looking forward to working with him. It is vital we form a good relationship as captain and coach because all three of us need to work together."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 5, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

Personally I can see both positives and negatives from this. I take it Flower will get the final say re selections.

The positives are that we'll have a new coach with hopefully fresh ideas and input who maybe won't pick players for the shorter formats based on a sense of loyalty to the test players.

The negatives could be that Giles will want to build a successful ODI/T20 side (well obviously he will) but the drawbak/possible friction I can see arising when Flower wants certain players rested for certain shorter format games/series and Giles will surely always want to play his strongest side. I can see Flower would at times want to rest players like Swann,KP and Jimmy for some games whereas Giles will always want to go in there with his strongest side which would surely include those players. I remember a football manager saying that he would always accept criticism etc as long as he was running the team his way. I guess any manager would feel the same

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 5, 2012, 16:28 GMT)

[@sk12: KP is busy with his reintegration. It's quite enough to keep him going!] To the issue here: the idea of having Giles doing the format stuff & Flower i/c the Test team + a responsibility for an overview is an excellent idea & it wholly depends on the co-operative spirit that exists between the two & the relationship that Cook enjoys with both of them. It would not work if there were different personalities involved, but I'm happy that these three can work things out very well indeed. Not one of them is difficult. NB: This is not necessarily recommended to other countries' boards. It is possible, however, if you are dealing with grown ups.

Posted by CricketMaan on (December 5, 2012, 13:50 GMT)

33 players across 3 formats, 20 probables and 50 support staff..that is a one big fat organization.

Posted by sk12 on (December 5, 2012, 1:47 GMT)

And whats KP's view on this??

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 5, 2012, 0:26 GMT)

Of course the players will publicly put a positive spin on the change but I wouldn't expect that any of them have any great reservations about it privately anyway. They're used to dealing with multiple members of the coaching staff and they'll all be familiar with Ashley Giles so the only things that remain to be seen is whether all the personalities gel. I'm guessing that everyone will be wondering whether this change will be good, bad or indifferent for KP's level of comfort in the side. I can't see any inherent reason that the whole thing shouldn't work for everyone concerned. It's now just a matter of personalities and results.

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