Keith Barker: Ashley is the right man for the job – a tactician and motivator

The man who bowled Warwickshire to the county title this year under Giles, explains how new coach operates

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The Independent Online

Ashley is just an overall good coach. When Warwickshire won the County Championship last season, we did not even take it game by game or day by day, it was session by session. We were just trying to come out on top of each session and, if not, make sure we tried to get the next session back and stay in the game.

That way, when the four-day cricket stopped for the one-day cricket, we still knew where we were. When we came to analyse things, it was quite a good feeling to know that, and then to win the next session of the next game. We never went too far ahead.

He is massively into details, especially when it comes to the opposition. The amount of times we'd watch how other players play, and how they got out. As a bowling unit we would look, for example, if batters were not too sure if the ball was swinging away from them and didn't know where their off stump was. It was very specific on the opposition.

He likes his strategy. He's always looking at how we could improve our players, knowing our strengths and weaknesses.

It takes a lot of nous when we are playing, with fielding especially. He would identify points where we could have saved runs in certain places with our fielding. He was always looking for us to improve and to be the best we could be.

Sometimes I might try to get too creative in my thoughts, and he honed it back towards the basics. He will look at options of how you can expand and be a bit different, but if he thinks it is getting a bit out of hand he always comes back to the basics and looks for a different route. I think that's a massive strength of our team.

He is very good at man-managing his players. He doesn't just take one approach to motivation. He's a good laugh but at the same time he wants to make sure you're working hard and always looking to improve on your fitness and skills.

Ashley is very good to get on with. He is one of those people where you know he is your coach but you can still chat to him – not as a friend as such – but about anything. And the other thing is, that he is a good all-round communicator.

I think he's the right person for the England job. I'm sure he'll remember how it is, being on the road a lot. I think he will be fine with it. He's been there before and knows what to expect.

He has done really well at Warwickshire. Overall he's learnt a lot doing the coaching job here. So I think he'll do great with the one-day internationals and T20 teams. He won't be looking to come in and change everything. He'll just try and get his feet under the table. I think he'll settle in fine to be honest. It was obviously the next step for him and a great step for him to take.