Chris Silverwood was described as “the standout candidate” after succeeding Trevor Bayliss as England head coach.
While Bayliss fulfilled his remit by helping England lift the World Cup for the first time, there is no escaping the conclusion that the Test side stagnated on his watch.
Here, the PA news agency looks at the issues facing Silverwood over the next few months as he takes the reins of an international side for the first time.
Spotlight back on Tests
Following a four-year cycle in which the limited-overs formats were prioritised because of a World Cup on home soil, England’s failure to regain the Ashes has led to a promise of a policy shift back towards Test cricket. Australia leaving these shores with the urn in tow for the first time since 2001 highlighted some glaring issues facing the side and winning them back in 2021-22 is high on the agenda.
Having served as bowling coach for the last two years, Silverwood should have a few ideas on how to improve matters. Top of his to do list should be identifying a clear strategy alongside Root to take the side forward.
Blood new faces in New Zealand
Silverwood’s first assignment takes him to New Zealand for five Twenty20 internationals and two Tests, where there are a host of new faces in both squads. With the T20 World Cup a year away, it seems an ideal opportunity to test the likes of Pat Brown and Tom Banton, both of whom have impressed in the Vitality Blast this year.
The Test series, meanwhile, does not count towards the World Test Championship so there is no need to take a risk with senior players who may still be feeling the effects of a punishing summer, which could present opportunities for Dom Sibley, Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Parkinson.
Since Silverwood joined Bayliss’ backroom team, England have been bowled out for less than 100 four times while under the Australian’s four-year tenure, they lost all 10 wickets in a session on four occasions, having never done so between 1938 and 2016.
There were signs towards the end of the summer that England are ready to adopt a more sensible approach to their batting but a settled top three – in which ballast is preferred ahead of all-out aggression – would likely expedite proceedings.
Don’t forget about the white ball
Eoin Morgan’s unprecedented success as limited-overs captain means there should be no need for a dramatic upheaval while he remains at the helm. However, with T20 World Cups in 2020 and 2021, Silverwood cannot be entirely focused on England’s red-ball fortunes.
It was therefore heartening to hear Ashley Giles, England and Wales Cricket Board managing director, speak of Silverwood’s “detailed thoughts on what it will take to win the Ashes in Australia and win major ICC white-ball tournaments”.
Following their visit to New Zealand, England head straight to South Africa for four Tests, three one-day internationals and three T20s, followed by a two-Test stop-off in Sri Lanka. It is an arduous winter schedule after an unrelenting summer – in which the likes of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Root and many others barely had time to bask in their World Cup triumph before the Ashes – and leaves a number of core players at risk of burnout.
If Silverwood is to get the best out of his troops, their workloads must be closely monitored.
Provided by Press Association Sports
The Australian selectors rang in the changes in the squad led by skipper Aaron Finch with wicketkeeper batsman Ben McDermott and pacer Billy Stanlake making their international comebacks.
Australia’s Ashes hero Steve Smith could play his first T20I in more than three years after being named in the squad while there was no place for hard-hitting batsman Chris Lynn. The two three-match series against the subcontinent teams will kick-start Australia’s preparation for the 2020 T20 World Cup to be held on home soil in just over a year.
“It is almost a year to the day until Australia hosts the men’s Twenty20 World Cup and we have selected this squad with that in mind,” Australia national selector Trevor Hohns was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“We have looked to put a squad together that we think can take us through to that tournament.
“The squad we have selected is quite role specific and we believe it gives us the flexibility to thrive in all match conditions.”
BREAKING: Australia's T20I squad to take on Sri Lanka and Pakistan:— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) October 8, 2019
Aaron Finch (c)
Ashes 2019 leading wicket-taker Pat Cummins has been named as the vice-captain of the squad alongside wicketkeeper Alex Carey and he will be joined by Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Stanlake and Andrew Tye in the fast-bowling department.
“Mitchell Starc gives us a left-arm option and has earned a reputation as one of the world’s leading quicks at the top of the innings and at the death,” said Hohns.
“Pat Cummins is a world-class right-arm option and has been in superb form of late. Andrew Tye is a wicket-taking proposition, Billy Stanlake has the X-factor and Kane Richardson has been an excellent short-form player for some time now.”
Justin Langer’s men will first welcome Sri Lanka for a three-match series beginning at Adelaide on October 27 before they take on Pakistan in as many clashes from November 3.
Australia 14-man T20I squad
Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott (wk), Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
Australia v Sri Lanka Fixtures
First T20I: Adelaide, October 27
Second T20I: Brisbane, October 30
Third T20I: Melbourne, November 1
Australia v Pakistan Fixtures
First T20I: Sydney, November 3
Second T20I: Canberra, November 5
Third T20I: Perth, November 8
Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has put down the embarrassing T20I series defeat at home at the hands of Sri Lanka to Babar Azam’s failure to fire with the bat.
Pakistan were bowled out for the second match in a row on Monday, in the second T20I at Lahore, with Sri Lanka’s second-string squad notching up a 35-run win to clinch the three-match series.
It was the third series defeat in a row for the No1 ranked Pakistan and the first under the tenure of Misbah who is performing the dual role of head coach as well as chief selector of the men’s side.
Babar, who has been Pakistan’s star batsman for some time now, was dismissed cheaply for the second game in a row by Sri Lanka seamer Nuwan Pradeep with the right-hander aggregating just 16 runs from his two innings in the series.
“We became number one in the T20I rankings but if you dig deeper, what has been our strength mostly – it’s been due to Babar Azam’s runs. He didn’t score in two games and we’ve been exposed,” the Pakistan head coach stated after the loss the Gaddafi stadium.
Misbah-ul-Haq "We became number 1 in the T20I rankings but if you dig deeper, what has been our strength mostly - it's been due to Babar Azam's runs and he didn't score in two games and we've been exposed" #PakvSL #Cricket— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) October 7, 2019
Misbah’s own selections for the T20I series have come under the scanner with the recalled Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad failing to justify their inclusion in the playing XI with twin failures in both losses.
While Shehzad was marginally able to improve on his four-run outing in the first T20, Akmal bagged his second golden duck in a row to create an infamous record for himself. The younger Akmal sibling has now been dismissed for zero in the format on a record 10 occasions. Their failure, coupled with Babar’s, meant that Pakistan were always facing an uphill task in the run-chase of 183 runs.
Akmal, Shehzad and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed were dismissed inside the space of four deliveries by Sir Lanka leggie Wanindu Hasaranga with all three batsmen failing to pick his wrong one.
In the end, a lower-order fightback from all-rounder Imad Wasim (47) was not enough with the Men in Green bundled out for 147 runs inside 19 overs at Lahore.
Misbah put the T20I series defeat to a No8 ranked Sri Lanka down to the team’s ability to perform in all three departments of the game.
Misbah-ul-Haq "This is a good eye-opener for us. We have deficiencies in every department, in bowling, batting, especially the way we got out in both matches. We have deficiencies against playing spin, death bowling and we have to work a lot on these things" #PAKvSL— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) October 7, 2019
“This is a good eye-opener for us. We have deficiencies in every department, in bowling, batting, especially the way we got out in both matches. We have deficiencies against playing spin, death bowling and we have to work a lot on these things,” Misbah stated.
Having handed the Lankans an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, Misbah and Pakistan will hope to give the home fans something to cheer about when the two sides lock horns in the final T20 at Lahore on Wednesday.