England’s Test captain Joe Root has said he thinks Chris Silverwood’s appointment as Trevor Bayliss’ successor is “a really good” one.
Since succeeding Alastair Cook at the start of 2017, Root has had to put up with Test cricket being secondary to the white-ball game, with England’s main focus on the Champions Trophy and then the World Cup, but ECB managing director Ashley Giles has signalled that the focus will shift back towards the red-ball game in the coming years.
“I’m delighted for [Silverwood],” Root told BBC West Yorkshire. “He’s done some excellent work since he’s been involved in the team. “I’m sure you’ve heard all the reports on him: [he’s] very thorough, very well-organised, he knows exactly how he wants to take the team forward. He’s got a very good relationship with the guys, and I think that carries a lot of weight and goes a long way.
“He’s very knowledgeable, not just about his bowlers and how to take 20 wickets, but about cricket in general. He’s got a very good record in the County Championship with Essex, in the two years he was there. I think it’s a really good appointment.”
In his first outing in front of the media yesterday, Silverwood said that he was keen to make sure him and Root were singing from the same hymn-sheet as to how they wanted the Test team to go about things.
“Joe and I had a good long conversation yesterday,” he said. “I want to make sure that from the get-go, Joe and I are aligned with how we’re going to go about taking the Test team forward.
“What I’m talking to you about now [are] Joe’s thoughts as well – the two of us are aligned, and have an idea of how we want to take things forward.
“We think about [batting for] long periods of time, and then we want to create a bowling attack that is absolutely relentless. We saw some examples of that this summer – the Aussies made our lives really difficult.”
Root also backed Jonny Bairstow, who has been dropped for the two Tests against New Zealand, to return to the side after working on his game while out of the squad.
“He’s very disappointed,” Root said. “We’ve had long conversations about it, and he understands that his performances over the last 18 months or so have slipped… and because of it he’s ended up being left out.
“But one thing I expect of Jonny is a response, to go away, work at certain areas of his Test game and use the opportunity with that extra bit of time off. When you’re playing all three formats like Jonny has for the past three or four years, you don’t get windows of opportunity to work at specific parts of your game – you’re always preparing for the next series or for the games in between.
“He’s got an opportunity now to go away, take that chance, and when he gets his opportunity to play again, to come and do what he does best, prove everyone wrong and cement his spot in the side. That’s the character he is.”