Saturday 18 November 2017

Cook: Giles will make team gel

It could be said that Alastair Cook will captain 'Dad's army' when England take on India in their one-day series later this month.

Dad is the name a young Cook christened Ashley Giles when he first encountered England's new limited-overs coach in Pakistan in 2005.

That was when the then 20-year-old Cook was summoned from the beaches of Antigua where he was on tour with the A team and thrown into the deep end of the first Test in Lahore as cover for the injured Michael Vaughan.

Fresh from leading England to a first Test series triumph in India for 28 years, Cook, who was captain for the whitewash in 2011, returned to India last night knowing it is vital that he forms a quick and effective relationship with England's new limited-overs coach Giles.

He did not make his full debut until 2006 but remembers warmly the help that Giles gave him on that first taste of the England dressing room. "He was a senior citizen of the side when I first went to Pakistan," said Cook (right). "He was really good to me. He was kind of called 'the Dad' in one way. He was that gel in the middle of the team, always looking after players.

"He had a very strong relationship with Duncan Fletcher (the then coach) as well and he was the bridge between some of the players and him.

"I assume he will carry on that relationship with players as a coach."

Giles gave up his job as Warwickshire director of cricket in November to become England one-day and Twenty20 head coach in order to reduce the workload of team director Andy Flower.

As an England selector, as well as an Ashes-winning spin bowler, Giles knows the national set-up well. And his transformation into a highly regarded coach, winning the County Championship with Warwickshire last season, made him a natural choice to take over the England role. Cook is certainly looking forward to working with someone who comes so highly recommended.

"He has a fantastic coaching record," said the England captain. "Everyone who has worked with him speaks very highly of him. I am really looking forward to our coach and captain relationship growing. I am looking forward to getting stuck in and moving on again with England with a different coach." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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