Gooch sticks to trusted technique

Pakistan England

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Graham Gooch spoke to ecb.co.uk about his role as full-time England batting coach

Graham Gooch has a new remit as full-time England batting coach, but has retained his old ethos of teaching ‘run-making’ rather than batting alone.

Gooch has worked as a batting consultant with England since November 2009, but will begin the new role on March 5 when preparations begin for the Test series with Sri Lanka.

As consultant and Essex first-team batting coach, a role he relinquished in December, the former England opener has sought to produce match-winners like Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen, whose respective back-to-back one-day international hundreds helped respond to Pakistan’s Test whitewash in kind.

“That’s what I always used to say and still do, that I try to coach run-making as opposed to batting,” Gooch told ecb.co.uk.

“It’s two different things. Most people can bat, even if you haven’t played the game, you can be considered a batsman. Can you make runs? Making runs in volume is what wins matches.

“That’s what we didn’t do in the UAE [Tests]. It’s what the players have done very successfully over the last couple of years. So we had a bit of a setback there.

“Obviously a strong performance in the one-day games and the hundreds we’ve seen from Cook and Pietersen obviously have influenced those matches so that’s what we’ve got to work towards.”

Gooch, who was disappointed to leave the United Arab Emirates during the Test series, also revealed a more surprising ethos - “the player is the master”.

“I left the Test series halfway through in the UAE, which is not ideal because you want to be there to the end - you want to see it through,” he said.

“It will afford me the chance to work more with players, to do a few more one-to-one practices maybe away from the Test matches and the one-day matches, and also continue supporting the players and helping them, try to improve them.

“At the end of the day the player is the master, he’s the one that decides what direction he wants to go. It’s nice to be there to try and improve their skills. As I said, I’m only interested in England winning.”

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