Cow Corner

Will Ashley Giles still land England job despite worst interview possible?

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Ashley Giles has endured no end of misery leading England through disaster after disaster, yet he remains the favourite to be appointed coach of the national cricket team in the coming days.

As the potential occupier of one of the biggest jobs in world cricket, he will know that his career will be judged on results. You know? Whether he oversees defeats and humiliation. Or success and glory.

Sadly for England and Giles, it has been abundantly clear what he has experienced so far.

This winter alone, the former slow left-arm spinner has seen just five wins from 18 matches on his watch. As one-day coach of England, he has won a pathetic 19 games from 48 in charge.

No matter, it seems the ECB is able to look past all of that in favour of allowing 'mitigating circumstances' to represent excuses. The fact that he is also a national selector, however, does not exactly help absolve him of the blame despite having key players unavailable and a despondent, dejected group.

On paper he was a very strong candidate and understandable favourite for the role: he was a successful England cricketer himself, going back to the Ashes glory year of 2005; he was a Championship-winning county coach with Warwickshire; he was a fairly youthful coach and leader.

But does any of that really matter if he has proved incapable of lifting a beleaguered group of players whose performances, believe it or not, have actually seemed to deteriorate further from the Ashes shambles under Andy Flower.

At 41, Giles may still be handed the job with the hope that he can transform the team's fortunes, but what is there to suggest that more positive horizons lie ahead for England under his leadership?

A dismal tour of Australia was swiftly followed by a disastrous World Twenty20 campaign culminating, perhaps fittingly for some, by a humiliating defeat to the Netherlands.

What kind of message would it send to the nation's cricket lovers, let alone the players themselves, if Giles were entrusted with the full-time head coaching role nonetheless?

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[Anderson backs Moores for England]

[Newell and Moores keen on England job]

[Harmison: Giles the best man to lead England]

Indeed, with players already seemingly disillusioned by working under Giles, with Test opener Michael Carberry the most outspoken on the subject of his man-management, are the ECB in danger of nurturing a culture of defeat and dejection?

Given that Giles's last statement of intent before he sits down with new managing director Paul Downton was a desperate and chastening 45-run defeat to the Netherlands, what can he possibly point to in the way of progress or improvement? The ECB must be able to at least claim development if they are to appoint him.

No matter how much the ECB have invested in Giles in bringing him through the ranks and entrusting him with the limited-overs role while he waited under Flower, there is now an opportunity to begin afresh and to seek a winning approach.

A success ratio of 39 per cent is simply not sufficient to offer a contract to a coach, so this chance for a clean slate must be grasped. What, then, about the alternative candidates?

Trevor Bayliss is the only non-Englishman on the shortlist of names it is understood that the ECB are working through. Having coached Sri Lanka for four years, recently taken New South Wales to the Sheffield Shield title and overseen the Kolkata Knight Riders' IPL victory in 2012, he has a strong track record of success.

Meanwhile, on the county circuit, Mick Newell is the longest-serving domestic coach having enjoyed a sustained period of success at Nottinghamshire; Mark Robinson has picked up six trophies as head coach of Sussex; and Peter Moores has won the County Championship at two different counties - he has been here before, of course.

Whatever the circumstances and setbacks that clouded what was effectively a job interview period for Giles, he has not proven himself capable of having the leadership or man-management skills to take England forward.

A courageous decision for the ECB would be to forego their succession planning and embrace a new era under a forthright and respected leader able to inspire and challenge a group of players with everything to prove and enormous scope for improvement.

Taking the easy or the simple option is simply not good enough. England must not settle for a sustained period of mediocrity. It is worth fighting for more - much, much more.

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Dan Quarrell - on Twitter @Dan_Eurosport

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