Giles has been England’s first-choice spinner since establishing himself in the side during the winter tour of Pakistan in 2000-1 and his lower-order batting helps to make him a key member of both the Test and ODI sides.
He began his career as a fast bowler but was forced to turn to spin due to a back injury and it looked a wise decision when in the 2003 series in Sri Lanka he collected 30 wickets at a cost of just 18 runs each.
Any suggestion that he could only perform on foreign soil was also dispelled during the summer of 2004 due to impressive performances against both New Zealand and West Indies before he helped England reclaim the Ashes in 2005.
A skilled left-armer, he favours coming over the wicket to many batsmen and has the distinction of being the first man in Test cricket to have had Sachin Tendulkar stumped.
His batting adds depth to England’s line-up and he has completed the rare double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in Test cricket.
After going on the England A tours of Australia and then Kenya and Sri Lanka, Giles made his Test debut in 1998 against South Africa at Old Trafford when he claimed one wicket.
A good season in 2000 for Warwickshire gained him selection for the winter tour of Pakistan where a haul of 17 wickets was good reward for his efforts.
England then toured Sri Lanka and Giles was a key performer in the deciding Test, taking six wickets including 4-11 in the second innings as Sri Lanka were skittled for 81, paving the way for an England victory
Giles’ Ashes tour of 2002 was short-lived as he suffered a broken wrist after being hit by England colleague Steve Harmison in the nets before the Adelaide Test, having taken six wickets in the first in Brisbane.
He battled back to fitness and regained his place for the 2003 World Cup, where he produced consistent performances against Pakistan and Australia.
Giles retained his place throughout the summer of 2003 and was part of England's triumphant tour of the West Indies in 2004, although the success of the pace bowlers restricted his influence on proceedings.
He was one of the key players during the third Test at Trent Bridge, however, as England completed a 3-0 whitewash of New Zealand the following summer.
His second-innings return of 4-46 helped dismiss New Zealand for 218 and he then made 36 not out, having hit an unbeaten 45 in the first innings, to ensure a successful run chase for England.
Arguably the highlight of his career came later in the summer at Lord's when he produced a superb delivery to bowl West Indies captain Brian Lara in the first Test to complete 100 wickets in Test cricket.
That was just one of 18 wickets in the first two Tests and he also proved his ability with the bat in the fourth Test at The Oval with a half-century which helped England complete a 10-wicket win and a 4-0 series whitewash.
Giles continued his fine form during the NatWest Challenge with India when he took 3-26 in England's first match win and almost brought victory to the home side after putting on 92 runs for the seventh wicket with Michael Vaughan, of which Giles made 39, in the last match.
He took four wickets during the ICC Champions Trophy as England reached the final and he was named in the Test and one-day squads for the 2004/5 winter programme.
Giles was given the honour of captaining his country for the first time when Vaughan was rested for the second tour match against Namibia and England responded with a seven-wicket win in Windhoek, with Giles taking two wickets.
The left-armer played in the first three ODIs in Zimbabwe and produced excellent figures of 2-12 from seven overs in the second match of the series in Harare, as England took victory in all four matches.
While Giles is primarily regarded as a bowler, he joined an elite list of England all-rounders during the third Test against South Africa. His innings of 31 not out at Cape Town meant he became the ninth English player to reach the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in Test cricket.
England went on to win the series 2-1 and although they were beaten 4-1 in the one-day series, Giles ended the winter on a positive note with his highest ODI score of 41 at Centurion during a 104-run stand with Kevin Pietersen for the seventh wicket.
A hip injury ruled him out of the home series with Bangladesh in 2005, but he recovered in time to take part in the latter stages of England's NatWest Series campaign, bowling extremely economically despite taking only one wicket.
His big moment of the series was to come with the bat in a dramatic final with Australia at Lord's.
Needing three runs off the last ball to win, the spinner managed to get the two required to earn a tie - and a share of the trophy - a feat that had looked near impossible when England were 33 for five chasing the Aussies' 196.
Giles was one of the players to come under fire when England lost the opening game of the Ashes series but his critics were made to eat their words at his home ground Edgbaston where his five wickets helped earn a dramatic two-run win.
After a drawn Test at Old Trafford, England then went 2-1 up at Trent Bridge and it was Giles who held his nerve to hit the winning runs to secure a three-wicket win after the hosts had wobbled chasing 129 for victory.
Giles continued his form with the bat in the last Test of the series at The Brit Oval with scores of 32 and 59 as England secured the Ashes with a draw.
During his second-innings knock he shared a crucial 109-run stand with Kevin Pietersen that put the match beyond the reach of Australia.
Also during the 2005 summer he played in the C&G Trophy final and took an outstanding running catch on the boundary to dismiss Pietersen but it was not enough to prevent a Warwickshire defeat.
Giles headed off to Pakistan in the winter looking to repeat his previous success but it proved to be a frustrating tour. The conditions provided little assistance for the finger spinners and Giles took three wickets in the first two Tests before a recurrence of his hip injury forced him to miss the third game in Lahore and return home for surgery.
While recuperating from his hip operation Giles was awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List and was then named in the England squad to tour India in 2006 but had to withdraw before the England team travelled.
He struggled with hip and groin injuries throughout the 2006 domestic season but recovered in time to be picked for the 2006/7 Ashes tour.
He was also awarded an ECB 12-month central contract until the end of the 2007 season.
Giles travelled to India to continue his recovery with the England one-day squad who took part in the ICC Champions Trophy.
He played in the first two Tests of the 2006/7 Ashes series before flying home to be with his ill wife Stine.
He was selected in England’s provisional 30-man squad for the 2007 World Cup but did not make the final 15.
Appointed Warwickshire vice-captain for the 2007 season but in August he announced his retirement due to chronic injury, and next month was unveiled as the new director of cricket at Edgbaston.