LONDON: England’s new head coach Chris Silverwood believes his strong relationship with the players and continuity in the backroom structure will reap dividends in a bid to make the national team successful across all formats.
Silverwood was promoted from England bowling coach to replace World Cup-winning head coach Trevor Bayliss, who left last month after the drawn home Ashes series against Australia.
“I understand how the system works, how the team works. That continuity is the key,” Silverwood told a news conference on Thursday. “The step up will bring a lot more responsibility. Not a lot will change. I’ll have to step back a little bit, but I want [the players] to know I’m available.
“I think [there’s a good] relationship between myself and the two captains, and I’ve got a strong relationship with all the players and backroom staff,” he added referring to Test skipper Joe Root and limited overs captain Eoin Morgan.
England have struggled for consistency in Tests in recent years, slipping to fourth in the world rankings, but have enjoyed sustained success in one-day cricket, winning their first 50-over World Cup this year on home soil.
Silverwood said his top priority will be to lay the foundations for a Test squad as England prepare for the upcoming tours to New Zealand and South Africa.
“Job number one would be helping Joe,” said Silverwood. “Putting a lot of support around Joe and making sure that the Test team starts moving forward and keeps moving forward so that in two years’ time when we go back to Australia we can make a real impact out there.
“To move the Test team forward we’re going to have to look at batting for long periods of time and continue to build the bowling attack, as well as being consistent in winning away from home.”
England director of cricket Ashley Giles said Silverwood’s character as well as an exceptional county record — which includes guiding Essex to the County Championship title in 2017 — made him the leading candidate for the job.
Silverwood edged out several experienced candidates, including the likes of former India and South Africa coach Gary Kirsten, for the England job.
“He’s a winner and he can only prove that where he’s been able to prove it,” Giles added. “You can only be tested within the environments you’ve worked and he couldn’t have worked in a more pressurised environment.”
Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2019