Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Cook delighted that Giles has been thrown into the England mix


England are moving into their final days as a team with only one coach. They are leading the way in the approach to the all-consuming international game in the 21st century.

Having already tried three captains and one coach they will shortly have an organisation which has two captains and two coaches. It may be difficult to keep up for casual observers.

Andy Flower, who will remain as team director, will be in charge of the day-to-day running of the Test side but Ashley Giles will perform that function for both the one-day international and Twenty20 teams. Alastair Cook will be captain of both the Test and ODI sides but Stuart Broad will lead the T20 side.

Thus Cook will have to deal with two coaches while Giles will have to liaise with two captains. Any notion that it will diminish Flower's authority was firmly dispelled by Cook yesterday before the third Test against India.

"Not at all," he said. "It is very clear that he is still the team director 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."

Giles, whose appointment was announced last week, has left his post as director of cricket at Warwickshire. He will have a tough introduction. Taking over for the two Twenty20 matches against India at the end of the Test series, he will go home for eight days and then return for the five ODI matches, which are followed by a limited-overs series in New Zealand.

It may be more difficult for Cook plotting Test and one-day strategies with two different men. Though Flower nominally remains in overall charge of policy, it can be difficult to implement from thousands of miles away, as he will be whenever England are abroad playing short-form cricket. He knows Flower, he hardly knows Giles.

"What he has got is a lot of success at Warwickshire, he's turned that club around," said Cook. "All the reports coming out of Warwickshire are that he is doing a fantastic job. He is a really good character, 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. I'm really looking forward to working with him."

It increasingly looks as though Giles' appointment, though it might work well, was designed to ensure Flower stayed with England. Had the decision not been reached now he would have been away from home from 25 October until 28 March with barely a week's break at Christmas.

Cook said: "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.

"It is exciting times and I am sure it will work well. It is vital we form a good relationship as captain and coach because all three of us need to work together." All four including Broad, with the primary task at hand to remember what they are all doing.