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George Dobell in Kolkata
December 4, 2012
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 ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Dobell
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Plays of the day from the fourth ODI between Australia and South Africa at the MCG