England name Root as Test vice-captain, Gillespie in line for coach’s job

London, May 12:

England director of cricket Andrew Strauss on Tuesday named young batsman Joe Root as the Test vice-captain and confirmed that Jason Gillespie will be a candidate to take over as the national coach.

Joe Root (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Joe Root (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Strauss revealed it was the right time for Root to take over vice-captaincy of the Test side in the build-up to Test series against New Zealand and Australia this summer.

The 24-year-old has excelled in England’s middle-order, averaging 55 from 25 Tests so far.

“It’s the right time for Joe Root to take more of a leadership position and I’ve asked him to be the new vice-captain of the team,” Strauss said at a press conference.

“He’s got outstanding leadership capabilities and we need him to start thinking more as a captain. It’s in no way a reflection on the job Ian Bell has done. He has been excellent in that role by all accounts, but it’s time for Joe to step up in that regard,” he said.

The former England captain also confirmed that former Australia fast bowler Gillespie, who has been linked with the role ever since Peter Moores was sacked over the weekend, will be one of the candidates other than former Australia opener Justin Langer and Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody for the coach’s job.

Moores was sacked following a dismal World Cup campaign and drawn Test series with the West Indies.

“He’s (Gillespie) one of the candidates, absolutely. At the moment I have just been concerning myself with the process and how we go about it. Over the next few days we’ll start approaching candidates,” Strauss was quoted as saying by skysports.com.

“I need to go and meet them, speak to them and see their philosophy on cricket, their philosophy on coaching and whether it’s aligned with what I think is in the best interests of England cricket. I think there will be one over-arching coach (for Tests and one-day cricket). I think you need one person in control and in charge of that environment.

“The execution of strategy is over to the captain and coach as it always has been. It’s the right way to go. My job is to plan for the future,” he said.

Strauss also revealed there is a need for a change in strategy between England’s Test and one-day structure, saying there will be a specialised captain for T20’s and One-Day Internationals.

“It is my belief that we need far more separation between the Test and one-day side going forward. That’s going to give us the flexibility to play very differently in one-day cricket and we all know that’s what we need to do,” Strauss added.

“We’ve got to do things differently, look at things differently and come up with new ideas. In order to do that I think we will benefit from a specialised one-day captain.”

Eoin Morgan led England during their low-key World Cup campaign in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year, but Strauss said the 28-year-old remains an “excellent candidate” for the role of one-day skipper.

“Eoin Morgan took over that role for the World Cup and I think it’s very harsh to judge him on what went on in that campaign.

“He’s an excellent candidate to lead England in one-day and Twenty20 cricket. He’s playing these Twenty20 competitions all around the world and is gaining knowledge from different sources and he can apply that to the England team,” he concluded. (IANS)

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