Managing director of England men’s cricket Ashley Giles says the side could go into the autumn tour of New Zealand with a caretaker head coach at the helm, as the ECB seeks to replace Trevor Bayliss.
The World Cup-winning coach will step down from his role at the end of the Ashes and Giles reiterated that no decision on who will replace the Australian will be made until after the series has finished.
While Giles says it would be “nice” to appoint an English candidate, he indicated that he would have no problem hiring another foreign coach if they are considered to be the right person for the job.
“I keep getting asked about it but we’re going to do nothing now until the Ashes is finished and then we’ll go through a process to find Trev’s successor,” he told Sky Sports.
“I just wanted to reduce all the noise through the World Cup and the Ashes and let the guys focus on what is going on out in the middle.
“It’s been a massive summer and we have an opportunity to do something that we’ve never done before and are unlikely to ever get the chance to do again [win the World Cup and Ashes in the same summer]. We’ll focus on this now, and then focus on that after the series.
“If we have to, worst-case scenario is that we go into New Zealand with an interim or a stand-in coach, then we’ll do that. The most important thing is getting the right person to fill Trev’s boots which is not going to be an easy task.”
Giles added that the new head coach could come from within the current England set-up.
“It could be, we’ll have a couple of very decent internal candidates but the priority remains getting the right person for the job,” he said. “I’m asked pretty consistently about whether it should be an English candidate, I think that would be nice to have but again, it’s about getting the right person.
“I can say that I’ve had some conversations with people but just very relaxed conversations over a coffee or on the phone. Naturally, I’m going to be feeling people out on the position but nothing formal, nothing public but that process will continue for me to get to know some of these people as much as I need to.”
After a strong focus on white-ball cricket in the last four years, culminating in the World Cup success, Giles suggested that, with the introduction of the World Test Championship, red-ball cricket could now be prioritised.
“We’ve had a focus on the white ball for the last four years and perhaps the time has come to redress that balance,” he added.
“It was important that the pendulum didn’t swing back to 50-50, it had to swing right back to white-ball cricket, which we’d never done in this country.
“Perhaps that (affected the Test team) but we needed to do it if we were serious about winning the 2019 World Cup, which we’ve done.
“It was great strategy by Andrew Strauss, and led by Eoin Morgan and Trevor Bayliss, and it was the right thing to do but now we need to look at that. It won’t happen overnight but Test cricket is important to us and it’s important we win.”
One area that England will need to improve if they are to enjoy more success in red-ball cricket is the top-order with reports suggesting that they are attempting to persuade captain Joe Root to move back up from his favoured position at four to No 3 in an attempt to solve the problem.
“We’ll talk about that down the line,” Giles said. “That’ll be a discussion that Joe has with Trevor and [national selector] Ed Smith.