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Giles has the look of the chosen one

Ashley Giles is seemingly team director-in-waiting and if he is the right man for Alastair Cook then, by default, he is absolutely the right man for English cricket.

Vithushan Ehantharajah in Melbourne

January 31, 2014

Comments: 37 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan discuss their batting with Ashley Giles, Cardiff, September, 13, 2013
Ashley Giles discusses one-day batting with Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen © PA Photos
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As news of Flower's departure from director of cricket and repositioning within the pyramid of English cricket unfolded in the UK, Ashley Giles, his odds-on successor, was half a world away, trying to keep body and soul together as England finally approached the end of their Ashes tour.

Since Flower returned to England amid a cloud of rumours and suspicion, Giles' authority naturally seemed to expand as he fielded questions about topics that were, ultimately, not in his purview.

Kevin Pietersen's future - one of the most pressing - was not so much flat-batted as nudged around the corner, as Giles called him a "million-dollar asset" before scampering through to the other end, unscathed.

It is unlikely that Giles' appointment in all three formats will be confirmed at a hastily-arranged media conference in Melbourne on Saturday morning as England's coach in all three formats with expectations being that the ECB will give him temporary control while they embark upon a formal interview process.

But upon confirmation of how England plan to move ahead, Flower's successor would take over from a man who has changed the face of English cricket for the better: three Ashes wins, a first Test series win in India since 1984-85 and a first ICC trophy in the 2010 World Twenty20.

If anything, now is the best time for a new Test coach to take over, off the back of a 5-0 drubbing which, as much as anything, has shown that Flower has taken this side as far as he can. Nobody can deny now that a major restructuring is necessary. Flower himself spoke about the pain that England will have to endure before things get better.

Giles has big shoes to fill, of that there is no question, but watching him operate over the last month, the impression you get is of a composed individual who is more than capable of taking the reins.

What has been most striking about Giles on this tour has been the way he has carried himself. Throughout a draining cycle of training, matches, press conferences and air travel, he has maintained a calm demeanour, embracing his role as figurehead of the latter part of this tour.

Trips to Perth, Adelaide and Hobart have seen English and Australian players bumping shoulders with the general public in airport terminals no bigger than a school hall. While some turned to the haven of noise-cancelling headphones and i-Trinkets, Giles has relished the opportunity to talk shop with wide-eyed England fans, as well as browse duty free for presents for his children.

For all the talk that "Team England" care not for county cricket, Giles' appreciation of it runs deep. That Ben Stokes has yet to play a part in the Twenty20 series owes much to Giles' reservations about his poor form with the ball in last year's FLt20 competition, something that Stokes himself appreciates. The county game seems to matter again.

It is Giles' effect on Cook that has been the most evident sign of his touch. His batting, particularly at Sydney and Perth, spoke of a rejuvenation that seemed beyond him

If, as many suspected, the role as limited-overs coach was a stepping stone for Giles before he would take complete control of the national set-up, it was treated as anything but. Upon arriving in Australia, he had a clear plan he wanted the players to adhere to.

England's losing run has continued, but for all that it nearly worked. Had James Faulkner woken up on the other side of the bed, England may have left the Gabba at 1-1 in the one-day series, only to fall instead to a remarkable burst of hitting with Autralia's last pair at the crease.

Twice England were able to set targets of 300 or greater, as a batting line up heavy with whitewash-weary Test batsmen summoned the sort of pluck that had been lacking in Tests. There was an irony, though, that as news leaked out that Flower was moving on, England were enduing under Giles their worst display on the limited-overs leg of the tour.

Much like Flower at the beginning of his tenure, Giles enjoys a hands-on approach to training and, from the outside, it is clear he appreciates the nuances of player specific habits and preferences. The day before England's ODI at the WACA, he took a backseat as Ian Bell chastised himself for leaving a ball in slip catching practice that was almost certainly his. Later, he would offer an almost continuous commentary of where Alastair Cook was going wrong, as the skipper tried to perfect a short-arm throwing technique.

Indeed, it is Giles' effect on Cook that has been the most evident sign of his touch. For all the woe that has been etched across Cook's face, his batting, particularly at Sydney and Perth, spoke of a rejuvenation that seemed beyond him at that juncture.

It is also important to look at the turnaround between those matches, when Cook went from doubting his credentials as ODI captain at the end of a series losing defeat at the SCG, to giving himself a vote of confidence before a ball had even been bowled at Perth.

Publicly, Giles spoke frankly of getting Cook to reassess the matter at hand and that, to take the team forward, Cook needed to be at the helm. He mentioned that Cook was "very clear" on what needed to change going forward, before washing off the suggestion that he was a contributing factor to Cook's U-turn.

It is hard to believe, however, that he had nothing to do with it. Cook looked like a man on the edge, and Giles, no matter how he downplays it, coaxed him away from the edge.

If Giles is the right man for Alastair Cook then, by default, he is absolutely the right man for English cricket.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (February 4, 2014, 17:33 GMT)

sachin , dravid, ponting and lara is good choice of England coach

Posted by   on (February 4, 2014, 17:28 GMT)

sacin Tendulkar and rahul dravid is best choice of England coach

Posted by   on (February 3, 2014, 8:50 GMT)

At least he might turn disaster into mediocrity. Also the fans will have lower expectations so will not feel so disappointed when defeats come along.

Posted by Garp on (February 3, 2014, 5:16 GMT)

Does the press not realize that the demise of English cricket coincides with the appointment of Giles as limited over' s coach? If Giles is named director it will be as farcical as Moyes being manager of Manchester United!

Posted by dreamliner on (February 2, 2014, 16:21 GMT)

The coaching for all england formats has not been up to scratch for a long time, and Flowers and Giles have been the perpetrators. They don't want someone else to come in to the role and show up their legacy and undermine their methods. Pathetic situation allowed to get worse while Giles Clarke busies himself towards replacing his true legacy (Stanford) with an axles of evil, and I so not expect him to offer up the suggestion of moving for someone like Gary Kirsten. But to suggest his namesake will take over all formats proves he still does not understand the root cause/rot because he is part of it.

Posted by KapilsDevils1983 on (February 2, 2014, 15:04 GMT)

A few of the titles of recent articles by the author :

'Giles has the look of the chosen one'

'tattooed trickster bears England anger'

'Cook to stay with bad cop Broad'

There should be some difference between reading Cricinfo and The Sun.

Posted by   on (February 2, 2014, 11:19 GMT)

A dour drip who will continue the sterile 2 an over cricket and toothless bowling. Shocking choice if selected. How anyone can select Jade Drainbach for over 20 games speaks volumes.

Posted by gavin7094 on (February 2, 2014, 11:06 GMT)

Maybe the thinking is that if Giles gets the Test job he might relinquish the ODI/T20 job? At least we'd get better at the short form.

Posted by Wallruss on (February 2, 2014, 10:57 GMT)

Didn't Giles just lose the 1-dayers 4-1 and the 20-20's 3-0?

Posted by   on (February 2, 2014, 6:37 GMT)

Please. Gary Kirsten....

Posted by   on (February 2, 2014, 6:18 GMT)

Stop wasting our time ECB. Giles has done so well in your eyes. Our team have won all the ODI series since AG took over. Just give him the job that you dearly want to and allow our team to fall further. We are right at the bottom so cannot fall anymore.

Posted by Fifthman on (February 2, 2014, 2:32 GMT)

It was the right time for Flower to go, but Giles as his successor? Please dear God, no. He only got in the England team as a player because his face fitted and because Duncan Fletcher wanted bowlers who could bat a bit. If Giles is picked as head coach, England cricket can look forward to mediocrity and not much else.

Posted by   on (February 2, 2014, 1:03 GMT)

its about team selection not always who is who and why this then that so i think giles is the right man wait and see how he is gonna sort out.

Posted by cloudmess on (February 2, 2014, 1:00 GMT)

We've been down this route before - get rid of the talented Zimbabwean coach after a 5-0 drubbing down under and promote a good bloke with all the right badges etc from within... and cue period of stagnation and mediocrity for next 2 years. Please ECB, don't completely wreck Flower's legacy. Consider some of the other candidates and show some courage and imagination.

Posted by   on (February 1, 2014, 17:37 GMT)

Not Giles.....please !!!!

Posted by   on (February 1, 2014, 17:29 GMT)

Oh No ! not Giles - Nice chap but if he is the Chosen One its a bad choice for English Cricket ! Maybe Darren Lehmann would like a new challenge !

Posted by bobmartin on (February 1, 2014, 15:24 GMT)

It seems that the squad for the West Indies tour is to be named on Wednesday and Flower is part of that selection process...so I guess we shall shortly find out if Pietersen is in Englands long term plans... Pietersen won't mind.. he'll just pack his bags and become another T20 mercenary cricketer..and his salary will rise with his increased availability.. We'll also have a glimpse as to how the future might pan out by who in the current squad is excluded... It'll be interesting also to see how quickly the ECB get around to finding a new head coach... and who that coach wants as captain.. Watch this space as they say !!

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (February 1, 2014, 15:22 GMT)

Terrible choice. We have gone from a top one day team to a joke since he took over. Known as a boring coach who played for draws from day one in the CC, he only got the job as he was 'one of the boys'. And picking the dire Dernbach simply because he played in the last T20 last year and it was 'consistent' to pick him? If you want to be consistent why not pick the player that was consistently good THIS year?

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 1, 2014, 12:56 GMT)

Good job England, now I don't have to worry about Australia losing the Ashes for at least another couple of goes around. Appreciate it.

Posted by sreni on (February 1, 2014, 9:50 GMT)

hope some one from ECB will read these comments and not to give Giles the post..otherwise..God save English Cricket..

Posted by FlashAsh on (February 1, 2014, 9:42 GMT)

I wonder if Trotts inclusion in the tour was down to Giles? Could be of course Giles pushed for his inclusion even if Flower may have axed him?

County bias will out within the ECB as shown from which grounds are used for International matches and also which squads consistently get overlooked for ENG places

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on (February 1, 2014, 9:06 GMT)

@disco_bob. Spot on again mate. As far as Giles goes, I just can't see England cricket improving under him. Gary Kirstwn on the other hand, now he is proven as a coach.

Posted by   on (February 1, 2014, 8:38 GMT)

no getting round it - what we need is another load of king of spain mugs to buy

Posted by   on (February 1, 2014, 6:36 GMT)

The failure of England in all in all format in Australia is simply due to wrong players in the team, especially the bowlers.It should have been Chris Jordon for Tremlett or Rankin. Root is not ready for international duties. Butler should have been the WK in all three forms of the game. Bressnan was not ready after his recent injury.

Posted by disco_bob on (February 1, 2014, 5:02 GMT)

pointing out that Faulkner could so easily have not won the match for Australia and therefore all could have been so much better, is symptomatic of why England have been thrashed here. The fact is it would be more conducive to a proper mindset for England to have acknowledge how close they came to drawing the Ashes 2-2, but for 14 runs and a rained out match. But no, this is ignored and instead they focus, (as indeed the writer has) about what 'might have been'.

Posted by Harvey on (February 1, 2014, 0:19 GMT)

I know a lot of England fans, but not one who think Ashley Giles should replace Andy Flower. His Warwickshire team who won the County Championship did so by playing for draws from ball 1 against the stronger sides. Warwickshire are known as The Bears. Under his mercifully brief tenure they were commonly known as The Bores. If he is appointed it will not only be bad for England, it will be bad for cricket.

Posted by bobmartin on (January 31, 2014, 22:07 GMT)

C'mon.. we all know that the ECB has a policy of jobs for the boys when it comes down to the lower echelons of the coaching team... but when it comes to the head honcho.. they have on the last two occasions gone for an overseas coach. The burning question is now what to do with Giles.. Do they shoe-horn him into the top job.. or go elsewhere ? I hope they look elsewhere... Giles was a pretty boring player and I've seen nothing so far in his limited overs selections to make me think he will be any different in his management style...I mean one match down with two to play and Dernbach and Bresnan retained in the side whilst Stokes sits on the bench... that says it all for me.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 20:50 GMT)

It is not who is the best person for the job but who's face fits with the powers of be. What happened to us in the ODI series. Surely does that warrant the man in charge to be given even a bigger role to finish off our team.

ECB, coaches, managers must all be replaced by people who can do us proud

Posted by Diaz54 on (January 31, 2014, 20:05 GMT)

Giles. Ah look comfortable,in the Job....but definitely bad news for England if appointed. Amazing that. On eof big three are in trouble and the other was also is in big trouble. Rants why these teams want guaranteed div 1 status.,a complete joke.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 19:39 GMT)

Dear all: wonderful a first move has been made but it's surely true to say, as some have, that the entire coaching and leadership team should be fired. Why? For allowing three versions of the England cricket team to execute the worst "tournament" performance - relative to the abilities of the two sides - in the history of British sport. Of course there are alternatives - on the coaching/management front that means home (Collingwood, Vaughan, Brearley, for instance) and abroad (loads). For the players, it's got to be back to looking at the early season form, all places up for grabs, pick the team, choose a new captain from among them. It's the only way to Save Our Souls (the fans'). Like no other team I've ever observed, this lot somehow - tacitly no doubt - decided winning wasn't for them any more, the responsibility just sooo much more painful than losing. It's a mad place to start from, but that's why we need new leaders who simply won't ever let such nonsense happen again.

Posted by nickduck on (January 31, 2014, 18:32 GMT)

The spineless ECB have capitulated again. Faced with a Pietersen or Flower ultimatum they are yet again backing the South African because they are worried about losing too many matches without him. The hapless Giles is a big KP fan yet is unlikely to stop his bad apple tendencies in the dressing room. The future will be bleak with Giles in charge. Can't wait for more Warwickshire selections like the 'shy' Boyd Rankin, a fast bowler without an aggressive bone in his body. Keep em coming Ashley!!!!

Posted by Whatsgoinoffoutthere on (January 31, 2014, 16:04 GMT)

PS: And stop selecting Jade Dernbach!

Posted by Whatsgoinoffoutthere on (January 31, 2014, 16:04 GMT)

Ashley Giles has a reasonably successful international career as a cricketer and in that time nobody rated him. If they all make the same mistake about the 'King of Spain' a second time and fail to respect him as a coach, he will profit from that. A coach is only the top person, the real strength comes from the team assembled to work behind the scenes. If Giles is the top name, his recruitment and his ability to keep everyone united are as important as anything else.

Just one thing: get Paul Collingwood in the coaching setup please!

Posted by aahahaa on (January 31, 2014, 16:01 GMT)

wheelie bin in charge of English cricket ? i mean how does your system work?

Posted by AJ_Tiger86 on (January 31, 2014, 16:00 GMT)

Ashley Giles has done *nothing* in his 1+ year in the ODI job to prove he is a competent international coach. Some of the decision making has been atrocious. If Giles takes over as the next England head coach, it will be a disaster for English cricket.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 15:25 GMT)

Ashley Giles' ineptitude has cost Andy Flower his job and gained Giles a promotion. This may be why the ECB wanted no relegation for England a two tier test championship. Omnishambles.

Posted by robble on (January 31, 2014, 15:17 GMT)

Giles thinks Dernbach is a good bowler: enough said. We are in serious, serious trouble if he gets the job.

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