Defiant Chris Silverwood Says He’s Still Best Man For The Job In England | Ashes 2021-22


An The Ashes tour heading south after two heavy losses naturally puts the players and the background setup in the middle, but, although XI changes now seem inevitable, Chris Silverwood remains adamant he’s the right one. no one to be England’s head coach.

After removing Ed Smith from his position as national coach in April and handing over those tasks to the head coach, England men’s cricket manager Ashley Giles said Silverwood would have a ‘free run’ to try to get the game back. urn from Australia, although with caution, this defeat would put “pressure on us all”.

Sitting 2-0 on a tour that has been the center of every test team benchmark for almost two years, all the leeway has now evaporated ahead of Boxing Day’s test. Silverwood, fresh from what he described as a “truthful” debriefing in the locker room after the 275-race loss to Adelaide, at least acknowledges the situation.

When asked if his position was now on the line before the team went to Melbourne, Silverwood replied: “It still is. When you take a job like this, you take it. It’s like that. Do I think I am the right person? Yes I do or I wouldn’t have accepted the job in the first place. You are constantly under pressure.

“I believe I can change things, I believe I can. We’ve had these honest conversations and I think I have the right coaching staff around to make that happen as well. “

Not all problems fall at the feet of Silverwood, his assistants, or the captain, Joe Root. Since the pandemic hit England’s fixture list has been reduced. The rotation was well intentioned but above all signed from above with the Indian Premier League, which was not negotiable. Sold as a chance to fringe players, it has proven to be detrimental to the continuity of the Test team while the T20 team is unaffected.

England’s shortcomings with the bat, illustrated by two game-defining slumps, are also long standing, reflecting a national system in which white ball income takes priority over red ball development. Root is the only player to have averaged over 40 test cricketers since his debut in 2012, and those who have been tried include experienced pros, players chosen from short-lived potential and international talent who have not. been transferred. Losing two quick bowlers to Jofra Archer and Olly Stone through injury was unfortunate.

Jonny Bairstow has appeared as a backup outfielder in Adelaide, but could be in the MCG XI as an opener or No.6 in place of Ollie Pope. Photograph: Dave Hunt / AAP

Nonetheless, the strategy has at times been very questionable and exacerbated by two wasted years in the spin department, swinging between Dom Bess, Jack Leach, Moeen Ali or just rock-solid attacks no matter what the conditions. And Silverwood and Root, it must be said, seem to read overseas pitches as if they were written in the Russian alphabet.

Five crimps and the first bowling on a surface that started out green at Gabba was surely the game of value against the Australian batsmen returning from a year of cricket testing. Instead, England struck first (doing it miserably) and chose Leach, subsequently plundered, after a summer on the sidelines. For the day-night test in Adelaide, they then dodged a frontline spinner, only to see the surface rag for Nathan Lyon.

Even in hindsight, Silverwood and Root refused to accept them as mistakes. It may have been the public stubbornness of two otherwise sympathetic Yorkshire men, and the recognition took place in private. But thinking back to the pink ball test in Ahmedabad this year, when England picked four seamers and Leach before 28 of the 30 wickets taken fell, a pattern has emerged.

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The England series has also been plagued by abandoned captures and two wickets have been removed for missing a ball, while outfielders have always missed their shot when fearful of strains. Lack of talent is one thing, but there are few excuses for lacking the fundamentals of the game internationally, even with limited preparation time. “Unacceptable,” said Silverwood. “We have to do better.”

Even recognizing the extremely difficult terrain at the end of the India tour last winter, England’s last 11 tests have yielded just one victory. As such, Boxing Day at the MCG has assumed enormous significance, as the fate of the ballot box already seems to be settled by the weight of history.

Silverwood backed Root’s public assessment that Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ollie Robinson weren’t bowling enough in Adelaide – while also stating that data from Hawk-Eye showed those lengths to be similar to the hosts – and said it was part of the team’s debriefing. The subject has raised eyebrows in Australia, especially those of former decorated captain of the country, Ricky Ponting.

“I almost fell out of my seat when I heard this,” Ponting told cricket.com.au. “So who is responsible for making them change?” Why are you captain then? If you can’t influence your bowlers on how long to play, what do you do on the field? “

Silverwood went on to point out how much players such as Marnus Labsuchagne (103 and 51) and Steve Smith (93 and six) have let the ball go compared to his own players and it is here that changes are expected in the – beyond a reminder for Mark Wood at rest among the seamstresses. Ollie Pope may have to be dropped given his struggles against Lyon and the openers, Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns, are also vulnerable. Jonny Bairstow, Zak Crawley and Dan Lawrence are the spare drummers on tour, but they haven’t played since the warm-up match, while a group of hopefuls enjoying the low-key Big Bash League are on hold.

Australia, meanwhile, have added Victoria crimper Scott Boland to their squad, a call that suggests Josh Hazlewood won’t be ready after his side strain. Pat Cummins, the captain, will return after his close contact issue with Covid in Adelaide, increasing the quality of a squad putting pressure on England’s batsmen, bowlers and brains.


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