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."

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