England now have two coaches as well as two captains after the surprise appointment of Ashley Giles to a new role in charge of the one-day international and Twenty20 squads. The decision has been made mainly to ease the workload on Andy Flower, who will remain the Test coach and in overall charge as team director, and confirms Giles as his heir apparent.
The former left-arm spinner has been a member of the England selection committee for the past two seasons and, as director of cricket, established Warwickshire as the most consistent team in the country as they won the County Championship in September after finishing runners-up to Lancashire in 2011. He has effectively leapfrogged Richard Halsall, the fielding coach, who has taken charge of the team for the odd match when Flower has been unavailable or given a break in the past couple of years.
Giles will take control for the first time in the two Twenty20 internationals that follow the Test series in India, with Stuart Broad as captain, and then against the same opponents for a five-match 50-over series in the new year, working alongside Alastair Cook. Beyond that, there is the ICC Champions Trophy in England next summer – with the final at Edgbaston, Giles's home ground – and the long-term goal will be the World Cup in Australia in early 2015, although that is preceded by another World Twenty 20 tournament in Bangladesh the previous year.
England are thought to be the first international team to appoint different head coaches for the different forms of the game, which must also be seen as a measure of their determination to add to the World Twenty 20 title they won in the Caribbean in 2010 – their only success in a major one-day tournament.
"My job as head coach of the ODI and Twenty20 sides is to help the team get results but we have got to be building towards the World Cup," confirmed Giles, who will step down from his Warwickshire role. "It's been about three weeks since we first discussed it. I was out in India with the team in a selection capacity and I spoke with Hugh Morris [England Cricket's managing director] and Andy Flower about the possibility and the roles and responsibilities. From a selection point of view we have looked into resting and rotating some of the players. There are obviously different captains in different forms now which has happened for a while so the next step is the coaches.
"I will report to Andy Flower as team director but it is important that we work together on strategy for the two teams. I can draw on Andy's experience as team director in all forms to help me in my new role and if push came to shove Andy would have the final say – and that's fine with me."
Flower admitted he felt "a little sad to be stepping away to be honest", but described the move as "a more efficient use of our resources". "I will certainly gain in other areas of my life," he said. "With young families it is very difficult to get that work-life balance. If you were either single, or had a grown-up family then it would be more possible to do all three formats of the game. "I will still be involved very closely with Ashley regarding one-day strategy and selection and absolutely committed. Ashley and I don't know each other that well, but we've played against each other and worked closely as selectors and we both believe we can work together here."
Morris added: "Andy has a young family and spends a hell of a lot of time away from them over the course of the year. He has had the busiest workload in cricket, including 15 overseas tours in the past five and a half years. It is not sustainable to have one person looking after all three formats of the game. We need a step change to make sure we protect our greatest assets, which are the players and the senior management."
In another example of that policy, Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann have been omitted from the squad for the T20 games in India next month, allowing them to fly home to their families a little earlier than expected. Pietersen will then rejoin the 50-over team for the first time since he retired from ODI cricket last June, but Swann has been given a longer break, presumably until the team move on to New Zealand in February – although Flower ruled out the possibility of surgery on the elbow that has troubled him occasionally during the past year.
Craig Kieswetter is another significant omission from the T20 squad after he flopped in Sri Lanka in September, with Jonny Bairstow set to take over as wicketkeeper. James Tredwell, the Kent off-spinner who has been included in both the T20 and 50-over squads, will fly to India immediately to provide cover for Swann and Monty Panesar in the remaining two matches of the Test series.
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