Cook backs Silverwood to bring clarity to England's Test side

By Sports Desk November 11, 2019

Alastair Cook has full confidence in the ability of new England coach Chris Silverwood to revamp the Test side, starting off with the tour of New Zealand.

England face New Zealand in a two-match series later in November, having already won a five-match Twenty20 series 3-2 thanks to another super over triumph against the Black Caps.

Several of England's star players, such as Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Test captain Joe Root, were not included in the T20 squad, allowing them more time to recover following the World Cup and Ashes.

Silverwood, meanwhile, has replaced Trevor Bayliss, and Cook has no doubt he is the right coach, and Root the right captain, to lead England into a new era of Test cricket after frustrating performances in recent series.

"New Zealand is a good place for Chris Silverwood and Joe Root to start a new cycle," former England skipper Cook told ESPNcricinfo.

"It's only a two-match series, which is a bit of a shame, as their recent history has brought some cracking matches. You feel a long way away from everywhere, it doesn't have the hype of an Australia or India series, but they are a brilliant side, and it's a great but tough place to play cricket.

"Clarity, that is one thing [Silverwood] will bring. He's very clear on what he wants and it's very simple what he wants. The players will know, they'll be very well prepared, they'll know exactly what he demands of them."

Cook also believes Silverwood's "hands-on" approach will benefit Root, whose captaincy was called into question throughout the Ashes.

"He'll be a real helping hand for Joe Root, taking a lot of pressure off Root in terms of off-field stuff," Cook said.

"Trevor was a very hands-off coach, and he had a lot of success, but there are different ways of skinning cats, and you can see that Joe needs that support around him. That's quite obvious, and Silverwood and his team will give a bit more than Trevor did.

"I'm not saying that's right or wrong, but I think that's what will happen. I think we'll see the next stage of Root's England captaincy career.

"Looking back on my [time as captain], I think I took two and a half years to feel totally comfortable in the role, in terms of what you know, what you want from the side, and how you go about all the extra demands.

"Root is at that kind of stage, I think he'll bat at No. 4 again, and I'm expecting another spike from him."

Related items

  • Foster named All Blacks head coach Foster named All Blacks head coach

    Ian Foster will step up from assistant to head coach of the All Blacks, it was confirmed on Wednesday.

    Foster replaces Steve Hansen at the helm of New Zealand on a two-year deal beginning in 2020, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) announced.

    The 54-year-old has been an All Blacks assistant coach since 2012.

    "The NZR board has today ratified Ian Foster as the new head coach of the All Blacks from 2020," NZR chairman Brent Impey said in a statement.

    "He brings world-class international experience to the role, an incredibly strong coaching team, and we think he'll do an outstanding job. 

    "The interview process was extensive and really difficult, which reflects the very strong applications from both candidates."

    Foster was delighted to take the job, with Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson having also been interviewed.

    "I feel truly privileged and honoured to be given this opportunity and I can't wait to lead the team into the next chapter of what is a remarkable legacy," he said.

    "I'm incredibly proud of what we have achieved in the All Blacks over the last eight years and I'm excited and energised by a new coaching team who will join me.

    "It's incredibly humbling to be appointed to the job and I have a strong desire to serve the jersey well and represent New Zealand to the best of my ability."

  • PCB chairman Mani expects England and Australia to tour Pakistan PCB chairman Mani expects England and Australia to tour Pakistan

    Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani is confident Australia and England will tour the country in the coming years as they prepare for a first Test on home soil since 2009.

    Pakistan face Sri Lanka - the last team to visit over a decade ago - on Wednesday in Rawalpindi, the opener in a two-game series that also includes a Test in Karachi.

    Mani insists Pakistan are not planning to play future series on neutral grounds, with England "very supportive" ahead of a possible tour.

    "We are due to play England in 2021-22 and we are in serious discussions with them about coming to Pakistan," Mani told ESPN Cricinfo.

    "So far, they've been very supportive, so I fully expect they will come and play their cricket in Pakistan. 

    "Similarly, Australia, their chief executive has been to Pakistan and he's gone back with a totally different perception from what he thought it was like."

    Pakistan Test captain Azhar Ali, meanwhile, has said the series opener against Sri Lanka is a huge moment for the country.

    "It's a moment to rejoice, not only for the players but the whole Pakistan nation," he said, in quotes reported by Sky Sports.

    "We had a tough series in Australia and the way we lost there was disappointing. Moving forward, we see this home series as an opportunity and advantage to turn things around.

    "We will try our best to fix our mistakes and improve wherever we had been lacking.

    "We have outstanding talent in our squad. They have potential and, if we implement it, results will be good."

  • Stokes confirms he is fit to bowl for England in South Africa Stokes confirms he is fit to bowl for England in South Africa

    Ben Stokes has revealed he should be fit to bowl during England's tour of South Africa after scans confirmed he had not sustained a knee injury.

    Stokes complained of a knee problem during the first day of England's second and final Test against New Zealand in Hamilton,.

    However, he did bowl 25 overs during the Test, which was drawn as England lost the series 1-0.

    The all-rounder - a star of England's Cricket World Cup and Ashes campaigns - has now confirmed he will be fit to bowl against the Proteas, with England's four-Test tour to begin on Boxing Day.

    "It's alright," Stokes told talkSPORT. "I got some scans when we got back [to] England and there's nothing really showing up on the MRI scans, which is good news.

    "I just need to toughen up I guess but it's alright and it's just treatment now. I will be fine to bowl [in South Africa]."

    After a difficult Ashes series and a poor performance with the bat in the first Test in New Zealand, Joe Root returned to form in style in Hamilton, scoring 226 in the first innings, and Stokes claimed he backed the England captain to hit a double century ahead of the tour.

    "Rooty is one of the best players in the world. He obviously went through a little bit of a dip in performance but that is natural, he’s human. The old saying is form is temporary and class is permanent," Stokes added.

    "It's obviously great for English cricket to see Joe go out in his last innings before a big tour and hopefully we can see Rooty scoring runs like he normally does.

    "Being Test captain is one of the toughest jobs and one of the most criticised and how people speak about you is dependent on how well the performances on the pitch individually and as a team.

    "It's unfair most of the time that when things don’t go well the captain gets it all. I actually called Joe to get a double hundred on day one of our first warm-up game to Rory Burns. I think I was stood at slip and I said, 'Joe is going to get a double hundred this tour'."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.