If the new England coaches get off to a bad start there may be a shock or two ahead, writes Ted Corbett
It has taken England and Wales Cricket Board all of three months to appoint a new coach and his deputy as the first part of its plan for New England to replace the sad lot who hit meltdown in Australia last winter.
Right until the end of the process it looked as if the Board might stick with its first choice Ashley Giles, but suddenly there was a swing towards Peter Moores, sacked five years earlier.
I have a firm belief that no good ever comes of going back and now we have roughly five years — the natural shelf life of a coach — to see how this decision works out.
Let us give Moores a chance. He was an outstanding captain and wicketkeeper for Sussex and later its coach. When Duncan Fletcher moved to India Moore’s promotion to the England job seemed a natural progression and he may have learnt enough from his departure and his time at Lancashire to be a better coach now.
I hope Moores is the right man for New England which desperately needs a good coach.
A different question arises about the appointment of Paul Farbrace who had just taken over Sri Lanka, the first opponent England faces this summer. No-one can be surprised that a coach would prefer to help his own country but Farbrace has to live with his sudden departure from Sri Lanka where there will be some resentment at his changeover.
I am sorry to say that both coaches face an uphill task as they try to convince England that it can still play international cricket after its 12 defeats in 13 matches down under.
It was a crippling blow to a side which took off from Heathrow as a powerful force and returned five months later beaten and dejected.
No doubt there will be a lot of dressing room talk about “moving on” and “putting all those unpleasant memories behind us” but does this side have the moral strength and the leadership to make this a winning summer?
On the plus side Alastair Cook, who is to be captain again, is among the runs in county games and so is Ian Bell but Kevin Pietersen is in India where he will be able to talk the bold talk, tweet whatever destructive message he wishes and walk to the wicket safe in the knowledge that he is the Delhi Daredevils captain and his own master.
He ought to be with England and I still don’t know what he has done that is powerful enough to get him sacked even though there have been half a dozen mealy-mouthed attempts by authority to explain.Root raring to go
Joe Root, the most promising young batsman since David Gower joined Leicestershire and learnt his trade at the feet of Ray Illingworth, has spent most of the spring nursing a broken thumb. Now he is fit and Yorkshire’s youngest captain since the county began its illustrious venture under the leadership of Lord Hawke, who was even younger than Root’s 23 years and 118 days.
The appointed captain Andrew Gale stood down so that Root could play against Middlesex at Lord’s but I wonder if it means that Root is already being lined up to lead England, even though he began with a duck and Middlesex won by making 472 for three in the fourth innings.
If the new coaches get off to a bad start, if Sri Lanka’s team sees its two Tests as a chance to speak loudly about Farbrace’s defection and New England does not jell immediately there may be a shock or two ahead with Root at the centre of events.