England head coach Chris Silverwood says continuity is key in achieving greater Test success
'To move the Test team forward we're going to have to look at batting for long periods of time'
Last Updated: 13/10/19 9:16am
New England head coach Chris Silverwood says improving the fortunes of the Test team under Joe Root's captaincy is his top priority.
Silverwood, facing the media for the first time since being named as Trevor Bayliss' successor on Monday, says he hopes to turn England into the most respected team in the world in all formats.
He begins his tenure with England sitting fourth in the Test rankings following this summer's 2-2 draw against Australia, with winter tours to New Zealand and South Africa imminent.
"Job number one would be helping Joe," said Silverwood, "putting a lot of support around Joe and making sure that the Test team starts moving forward and keeps moving forward so that in two years' time when we go back to Australia we can make a real impact out there.
"We'll become [the most respected team in the world] by building on the white-ball success that we've already got. We talk about the priority of red-ball cricket but let's not forget that we do have two big white-ball tournaments coming up.
"To move the Test team forward we're going to have to look at batting for long periods of time and continue to build the bowling attack, as well as being consistent in winning away from home.
"But equally it's in the way that we play as well; it's the way that you play that helps you become the most respected team in the world - so I'll make sure that we keep driving the culture behind the scenes and that we're role-models on the park."
Silverwood was described as "the standout candidate" by Ashley Giles, managing director of England men's cricket, on his appointment after seeing off competition from a shortlist that included former South Africa and India coach Gary Kirsten.
The 44-year-old, who has spent the last two years within the England camp as bowling coach, said that continuity will be an important factor in the team's development.
"The relationships between myself and the two captains are key but equally I've got strong relationships with all the players and all the backroom staff," he said.
"I understand how the system works and how the team works as well. The continuity from me as a person to the players is key; they've got to know who is turning up every day.
"There's going to be a lot more responsibility with the step up. I've got to deal with you guys [the media] a lot more, which is fine and it is something that I'll feel my way into.
"But from a relationship point of view, not a lot will change. I will have to step back a little bit but equally I want the players to know that I am available and accessible to them as well.
"I've got some very good coaches around me, which is key for me. There are some good people out there to give advice. But equally I'll be looking to put the right people in the right places in that batting line-up and push the test team forward."
Giles reiterated that Silverwood's character and values had given him the edge over his rivals in the selection process.
"He's a winner and he can only prove that where he's been able to prove it, and that's in the domestic game. The job he did at Essex was fantastic and we are still seeing the legacy of that now.
"A sign of a good coach or a good manager is leaving a team in a better state than you found it and that team is still moving on without him at the helm; no disrespect to Anthony McGrath and everyone else at the club but that's his [Silverwood] work still in action.
"He's an exceptional bloke, who cares deeply about what we're doing and is a very good coach. You can only be tested within the environments you've worked and he couldn't have worked in a more pressurised environment, whether he was head coach or an assistant coach, this World Cup and Ashes summer, and he's proven that he can deal with that."
Giles has consistently resisted suggestions that England should appoint separate coaches for red and white-ball cricket given the demands of the international schedule - instead insisting that Silverwood will benefit from having a strong coaching network around him.
"The important thing around that one man is having diversity in thought and in those different individuals who support him, so he'll have a good group of coaches working under him," he said.
"We are crossing the 't's' and dotting the 'i's' and hopefully Paul Collingwood will join us full time and [batting coach] Graham Thorpe has been there some time. Those two guys will offer Chris a huge amount of support and knowledge, with their different experiences.
"The bowling coach position is now vacant so I would like Chris to have a massive say in who that person is and in the short term we might look at bringing guys in for short periods."
While Giles stressed that Silverwood's main focus will be on England's international performances, he added that the experience the former bowler has gained from guiding Essex to promotion in the County Championship and then the title itself would also help Silverwood develop the on-going work of the National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough University.
"I'm very keen that the national teams are more joined up with what we're doing at Loughborough, we're going to need a bigger pool of players.
"That then needs to be joined up with county system. There should be that flow there that will work hand in hand, whereas at times we've worked as a bit of an island.
"An overseas coach doesn't always help that because they don't necessarily have that knowledge of our system."