Ashes 2021-22: England managing director Giles promises thorough review, defends Silverwood role

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England manager director Ashley Giles has promised a widescale review where "everything will be on the table" after the Ashes thrashing, while defending head coach Chris Silverwood.

The tourists have been comfortably outclassed yet again by Australia down under, with the series defeat already confirmed heading into the penultimate Test in Sydney.

The dismantling of England's beleaguered red-ball side has led to questions over captain Joe Root, who received the backing of Ben Stokes on Monday, as well as Silverwood and Giles himself.

However, Giles – who removed Ed Smith as England's national selector in 2019 and promoted Silverwood to do both roles – believes wholesale systemic change is required as opposed to placing the blame on individuals.

"We will review the tour, obviously," he said to BBC's Test Match Special in an interview published on Tuesday.

"Everything will be on the table. We've got two Test matches left, the series might be lost, but we've got two matches we can make an impact on and we've got to try to."

"Being here now, in this position, I absolutely feel the responsibility of losing this Ashes series. Absolutely. And we all do. And we can only apologise and I know there will be a lot of emotion, a lot of anger about how we've lost it.

"But we know it's not an easy place to come. We can't kid ourselves; there's been a lot more going on in the last two years than just performance.

"Unless we look at more systemic change, a collective responsibility, and collective solutions, we can make whatever changes you want.

"You can change me, we can change the head coach and change the captain, but we're only setting up future leaders for failure. That's all we do. It's only pushing it down the road."

Giles also defended his decision to appoint Silverwood as chief selector amid suggestions Smith should have never been dismissed.

"One of the criticisms I had during my career was a lack of innovation, a lack of forward-thinking," he continued. "And now we're talking about going back to a system that is pretty antiquated and about 150 years old.

"In what other sports would we have someone sitting on the outside who would be telling the head coach what he should be doing?

"Yes, you build relationships, but ultimately it's a performance game. I think the head coach can still have those relationships in the dressing room. We've been accused in the past perhaps of being too cosy, too soft. I don't agree with that."

With Giles' managerial decisions put to one side, he discussed whether the County Championship format within England was hampering their red-ball side – a point many critics have already raised.

He added: "Are we creating the conditions in the game that will allow us to better prepare our cricketers to play in these conditions here? I'm not sure we are at the moment - what we play, when we play, on what we play.

"And again, that's a collective responsibility. It's up to us as the ECB, but also a conversation for us to have with the counties."

Silverwood heads a list of backroom staff absentees due to COVID-19 issues for the fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, which starts on Tuesday, and Giles believes the challenges the pandemic have thrown up also need to be considered.

"Performance has almost been the last thing we've had to think about, and that's a really sad situation," he said.

"How much time have we really had to sit back and think strategically? Not a lot. But have we got the game on? Have we tried to keep players fit? Well, yes, we tried. And the wellbeing issue is a massive one."

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