Jason Gillespie is the red-hot favourite to become England’s next head coach and Joe Root has backed his county boss to turn this country’s fortunes around.
Andrew Strauss’ first order of business on taking office as England’s new cricket director this week was to dispose of the services of Peter Moores after an unhappy second stint at the helm.
A disappointing series draw in the West Indies was the final straw for Moores, who also oversaw England’s miserable group stage exit from the World Cup earlier this year.
Former Aussie paceman Gillespie has garnered many plaudits for his work at Yorkshire, leading Root and his White Rose teammates to the County Championship crown last year.
And Root, who this week was promoted to the Test vice-captaincy by Strauss, knows first-hand what makes Gillespie the prime candidate for the vacancy with an Ashes series around the corner.
“I’ve loved working with Jason at Yorkshire, so would love to do so for England,” said Root, who was speaking at an event organised by LV= who are supporting the next generation of cricketing talent in the LV= County Championships.
“People have got to make decisions that are completely out of my hands. Of course his experience at international level is going to be a benefit but he’s great with everyone in and around the squad.
“He keeps things simple and you’ve seen what a good job he has done with the Yorkshire setup.
“I have really enjoyed working with him and having him as a coach. His enthusiasm always comes across in his coaching – he loves what he’s doing and passes that on to you through his team talks and the way he coaches.
“You catch that vibe off him and take it into the games. Regardless of what level you are, he has a very good way with everyone in the dressing room.”
In what has been a busy first week in the job for Strauss, the former England skipper has also had to try and draw a line under the Kevin Pietersen saga, endorse Alastair Cook’s Test captaincy and start the search for a new head coach.
The two-Test series against New Zealand that starts next week will be the first look at Strauss’ new era but the shadow of Pietersen will undoubtedly loom large after another damaging week for the ECB.
But is it the Ashes later on this summer on which Strauss and co will be truly judged and Root admits that the only way to silence the doubters and try and re-engage the English public is by winning games.
“As players, we’ve got a responsibility to go out there to put some really strong performances in, win some games and make Andrew Strauss’ job as easy as possible,” explained Root.
“His role is for him to discuss but all I can talk about is making his life easier by going out there as players and winning games of cricket.
“That’s all we can worry about – getting on the field and doing our best.
“I think Andrew Strauss has got a big role to play in England’s future now and it is going to be really interesting to see how things develop.
“It’s an exciting summer coming up, we’ve got some tough opposition coming out here and his experience can only help.”
Root, undoubtedly England’s Test captain in waiting, has been promoted to vice for this summer instead of previous incumbent Ian Bell.
And while Cook’s leadership has come in for criticism from all corners during England’s miserable last 18 months, the 24-year-old Root insists he is the right man to learn from.
“He (Cook) has done really well – obviously it has been a tough year or so but it’s great to see him back into form now,” added Root.
“He played exceptionally well in the last two Test matches against the West Indies and I think him as much as anyone will be looking forward to getting back out there and putting some big scores on the board.
“There’s not many better players to learn captaincy under than Cooky and ever since I’ve come into the team, he’s been our leader.
“As vice-captain, I’ll just be trying to help Cooky out when I can, if he wants any input from me or to ask any questions.
“I’ll be there to support him and to make his life a little bit easier.”
Joe Root was speaking at the filming of the LV = Broken Through video. To keep up to date with the LV= County Championship visit LV.com/cricket or follow @LV_Cricket on Twitter.