Giles talks up Flower partnership
New Twenty20 and one-day international head coach Ashley Giles is looking forward to dovetailing with team director Andy Flower in an attempt to deliver success for England.
Giles was handed the limited-overs reins yesterday, though Flower continues to have accountability for England’s results while his role with the Test side remains unchanged.
The duo will now work together on strategy - a partnership Giles feels will prove crucial over the course of the next few years.
In an exclusive interview with ecb.co.uk, he said: “It is important that myself and Andy work together very closely on selection and strategy.
“Andy has been in this job for almost four years now, so to pick his brains, get his thoughts on what has worked and what has not is also going to be important.
“I think that is one of the most crucial things, that we have a strong relationship as two different coaches leading two forms of the game.
“We are going to have to be very tight, have some good discussions on selection and, of course, rest and rotation of players.
“But I do not think there will be a problem there. We spent a lot of time when I was in India on selection duty talking about the roles and responsibilities.
“We pretty much discussed all the issues we could see that might possibly happen and we’re very happy with that.
“We need to keep pushing forward and I believe this re-structuring will allow us to re-focus our energies on specific parts of the game as well as working on strategies going forward to make England the number-one side in the world again.”
The duo, meanwhile, will remain England selectors - something Giles believes will be beneficial to both in their day-to-day roles.
He added: “In many ways, it has made that position stronger and more valuable. Being T20 and one-day international head coach, I am able to watch more cricket, particularly one-day cricket.
“I can talk to the directors of cricket, see a lot of the domestic game - and the same applies for Andy. He has been with the England side full-time, but he can now get out and watch some cricket.
“The split roles allow us to prepare that much better for series, spend more time with the analysts and spend more time with the players watching some cricket.
“And, of course, the work-life balance is an important one for England’s head coach.”
For Giles, focus quickly switches to his first assignment as head coach - namely January's one-day series against India.
The difficulty of the latter rubber is epitomised by England suffering a 5-0 ODI loss in the country just last year.
Giles admitted: “It is in at the deep end, I guess. But it’s a very exciting trip, a great place to go and play cricket; I hope it is a great place to go and coach cricket.
“Our record of late has not been great there, but that is a great challenge to this side and a good one to start with for me and Alastair Cook.”
While that series was a disappointment, England’s 50-over record since has been quite outstanding, so much so that they sit top of the tree in the world rankings.
Giles said: “Results have been strong. It’s not a case of trying to reinvent the wheel, or copy what Andy has done - I need to be my own coach. But things have been left in a good position.”
Those challenges will undoubtedly be at the forefront of Giles’ mind, yet he cannot help but dream of leading England to the final of the Champions Trophy - which takes place at Edgbaston - this summer.
That ground, of course, is what Giles is leaving behind after guiding Warwickshire to the LV= County Championship Division One title this year.
He revealed: “To be here at Edgbaston and the news to have broken here is exciting. Hopefully, we can be here for the ICC Champions Trophy final. It would be a nice way to sign off for the Bears.”
Speaking about his departure from Warwickshire, Giles added: “This has been my coaching apprenticeship.
"I was very lucky Warwickshire gave me the role. The club was in a bit of turmoil then and I needed to come in with quite a strong form of leadership.
“I have great memories of being here; it is nice to win trophies. We’ve won a couple over the last five years, but, as I say, it is bittersweet.
“It has been fun here, but there comes a time to move on. I think the time is right now and I am leaving the club in good hands.”