Gary Kirsten has revealed he would be open to taking over as England Test head coach, amid mounting pressure on Chris Silverwood, but is not interested in helping out at ODI and T20 level.
Silverwood has overseen a dismal display from England in Australia in the last month, after Joe Root’s side lost the opening three Test matches of this winter’s Ashes series, ensuring that the contest for the famous urn is already over.
The visitors have not just been beaten by their Australian rivals, but completely blown away with their latest outing resulting in a crushing innings and 14-run defeat in Melbourne.
This of course has led to plenty of pressure being piled on head coach Silverwood, with many calling for the 46-year-old to step down from his role following the series.
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And it seems one man who may be potentially interested in taking on the role is former India and South Africa coach Kirsten.
Speaking to iNews the South African revealed that while in the past he was put off by coaching all three England setups, he does see the Test role as a ‘lovely project’.
He said: “I’ve walked this journey twice now [when England recruited in 2015 and 2019] and I’ve always made it clear that I would never commit to doing all formats.
“And when international cricket boards get their head around the fact that they need to split coaching roles, then it becomes a consideration.
“Listen, the England ODI side is set up, you’re the best ODI side in the world at the moment.
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“It’s a project that has been well thought out, you’ve got consistency in the players that have been picked.
“Your Test side has battled for a while but it would be a really lovely project to get that going.”
One man who does believe Kirsten would be the right choice for the job is former England batter Nick Compton.
Compton – who averaged just under 28 with the bat in his Test career – said Kirsten would be the perfect fit to come in and replace Silverwood, describing him as the ‘right person’.
The 38-year-old told Sky Sports : “I would make a change now.
“I think Silverwood is a good man and did the best he can. Kirsten would be the right person. He understands top-level batting, he’s been there in a consistent fashion.”
While Compton does believe it is time for coach Silverwood to step away from his role, he also feels some of the blame for England’s recent struggles should lie with managing director Ashley Giles
“Are Giles and Silverwood the problem? That’s the big question. I don’t think suddenly you come in and overhaul everything,” He continued.
“It’s about getting the right people into the right places. I don’t think Giles has made the right appointments.
“I think Kirsten should have got the coaching job, someone who’s more skilled, with experience of taking teams to No 1 in the world, who has won World Cups.
“With all due respect to Silverwood, he’s given his absolute best, but he hasn’t had the long-term experience of being a head coach.”