Thursday 3 April 2014 

England's Next Coach - Who's In The Running?

Andy Flower
Who will replace Andy Flower as England's head coach?
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Following their departure from the ICC World Twenty20, Jack Vittles takes a detailed look at the coaches who are in the running to lead England as they begin their latest 'new era'.

Ashley Giles

Considered by many to be the overwhelming favourite for the job despite indifferent results, at best, as England’s limited overs coach.

Giles is very much a man in the current ECB/Andy Flower mould; he is a scientific thinker of the game and appears to privilege statistics and analysis over flamboyance and unpredictability. He would be the safe choice for the ECB for a number of reasons; Giles is a disciple of Flower and would provide the side with continuity. However, is continuity really what England requires after such a disastrous winter?

Giles gained the limited overs job on the back of success with Warwickshire in winning the County Championship in 2012, and he proved himself to be a very astute leader with the respect of many involved in the English game.

His reputation has, unfortunately for him, taken an absolute battering over the last six months. Abysmal showings in the one day games after the winter Ashes tour coupled with an apathetic performance at the World T20 ending in defeat to the Netherlands has tarnished his image. In truth the average English cricket fan's desire for Giles to be given the top job is now almost non-existent.

Despite all of these apparently obvious flaws, many still see Giles to be the leading candidate; he appears to have the respect of Test captain Alastair Cook and is well liked within the establishment.

Although I don’t think appointing Giles would be disastrous, I just feel that what English cricket needs is a clean break and a step away from the conservative analysis driven Flower regime of the past five years.

Peter Moores

A man who has already had one crack at the top job in English cricket, Moores previous reign as head coach lasted just two years and ended acrimoniously after a very public falling out with then skipper Kevin Pietersen.

Moores failed to beat India twice and also lost to South Africa at home during his time as coach and results in general, particularly in the Test arena, were nothing to write home about.

He can however be given credit for the changing of the guard in England’s pace bowling attack, electing to leave out Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard in favour of James Anderson and Stuart Broad on the tour of New Zealand in 2008.

This effectively signalled the end of both Hoggard’s and Harmsion’s careers and was the beginnings of the pace attack that would win three consecutive Ashes series under Flower.

Since his public departure from the England role, Moores has gone about successfully rebuilding his reputation at Lancashire. He has overseen an historic Championship title win in 2011 and a promotion in 2013.

Of course, it must be mentioned that his side were also relegated in between, but on the whole, the overwhelming opinion is that Moores has done a superb job at Old Trafford and would be much better placed to make a better fist of the job, if England came calling once again.

Trevor Bayliss

The possible dark horse in the race to succeed Flower, his case for the job has gathered momentum over the past week.

The Australian has quietly built up a supremely impressive coaching CV over the past few years and has recently admitted that he would be silly not to look into applying for the England job.

Bayliss cut his coaching teeth with his home state New South Wales in Australia and guided his side to trophies in both the Sheffield Shield and the One Day tournament. His success in his homeland led to him being appointed as coach of Sri Lanka in 2007 and he enjoyed a successful period with the side between 2007-11; including a memorable run to the 2011 World Cup final in India.

Since success at the 2011 World Cup, Bayliss has left his post with Sri Lanka and taken up roles at both Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash and with Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.

He has continued to enjoy success as a Twenty20 coach, winning the inaugural Big Bash in 2011 with the Sixers, before winning the IPL with the Knight Riders in 2012. Bayliss has also been praised by many, including Geoff Lawson, for his superb man management skills.

Quite frankly if the stories in recent weeks from Michael Carberry are true, then man management is exactly what England needs at the moment. The talent is there in English cricket, the players don’t need technical coaching (they all have their own preferred mentors anyway), they need a man manager to gel the side together and recover the wreckage of the winter.

Personally, Bayliss would be my choice. He has a proven track record of getting results and his management style would hopefully kick-start some life back into England’s stuttering side. His Australian mentality may also make a refreshing change in a time when many of the current England side are becoming too conservative and comfortable.

Mick Newell

The final candidate who is believed to be being interviewed by the ECB is the current Nottinghamshire coach Mick Newell. He is the longest serving county coach having been in charge at Trent Bridge since 2002 and has impressed during him time with the club.

Newell has guided the East Midlands side to the County Championship title twice during his reign, first in 2005 then again in 2010. He has also won the YB40 competition as recently as last year.

Nottinghamshire’s first-class form has been a little indifferent since 2010 but they haven’t been relegated since 2006 and Newell is well respected by many county professionals.

A reputation as a hands on coach, he is a man with a more practical style than Giles. Newell would mix well with the players and may be more hands on in the coaching aspect of the side than Flower ever was. After 12 years with Notts has Newell’s time to step up to international level finally arrived?

Outsiders

The outstanding available candidate was Gary Kirsten. He has proven success in the Test arena with both India and South Africa and is one of the most well-respected coaches in the world.

He would have no issues gaining the trust of this current England side. He has however ruled himself out of the job due to family commitments, the same reason he drew time with South Africa.

Stephen Fleming is also another international name to consider; he was supremely successful as skipper of Nottinghamshire under the stewardship of Newell and is one of the best tacticians in the world game. Fleming has won the IPL twice and the CLT20 as coach of Chennai Super Kings and was regarded as one of the finest captains of the modern age.

Mark Robinson, the current Sussex coach, is also a possible outside candidate. Robinson has been in charge at Hove since 2005 since the departure of Moores. Over recent years he has also led the England Lions side on tours to Sri Lanka and Australia.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on who is the right man to succeed Flower. Please comment below.

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