Root excited to work with new coach and hopes Test cricket will be priority
Joe Root is eager to begin working alongside a new England coach, with Gary Kirsten still the firm favourite to succeed Trevor Bayliss.
Kirsten was initially thought to be out of the picture due to the touring demands of the job and his recently-agreed role with Welsh Fire in the Hundred, but the England and Wales Cricket Board have been willing to remove both hurdles.
England are open to allowing assistant coaches to take an expanded role to allow the top man a less prohibitive schedule and the ECB may be tempted to use a vacancy in the Hundred to appoint an aspiring English coach such as Marcus Trescothick.
Kirsten, who had a fine track record with South Africa and India, could be appointed as early as next week if talks continue to go smoothly, while two members of Bayliss’ backroom team – Chris Silverwood and Graham Thorpe – have shown interest in stepping up to the top job.
The experienced Graham Ford has also been linked, but reports suggest former England captain and current Surrey chief Alec Stewart has now withdrawn.
As Test captain, Root is not directly involved in the process, with director of cricket Ashley Giles in charge of making the appointment, but he has run the rule over the candidates and likes what he has seen.
“I’ve been made aware of who has been going in for interview and some of those candidates are really exciting. You look at the list and I’m thrilled with the names involved,” he said.
“There’s a lot of noise around certain individuals but the group have all done special things and could bring good things to English cricket. Ashley has got an exciting but difficult decision to make. That’s not my pay grade.
“The sooner the better but ultimately I think Ash is just desperate to make the right decision.
“One thing you always want from a new coach is a bit of energy and a slightly different way of going about things. Trevor did a brilliant job managing English cricket but I’m sure whoever comes in will want to put their stamp on it quite early.
“Personally I’m looking forward to Test cricket being slightly more of a priority than it has been for the past few years.”