Five things Rob Key needs to address, including new head coach and captaincy decision

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It's safe to say Key has his work cut out with an England side struggling to make the right decisions on and off the pitch.

A lot needs to be fixed and below, Planet Sport have taken a look at five crucial things Key must do ahead of the summer.

Anderson and Broad to return?

It was something of a controversial decision to leave England's two most prolific bowlers out of the Test squad to face the West Indies. Key will now have to look at whether they return or not. Should James Anderson and Stuart Broad be selected, then Key will have to engage with both players longer than the five-minute calls they received by Sir Andrew Strauss last month.

New ideas

Rob Key has been named England's new managing director of cricket
Rob Key has been named England's new managing director of cricket

It is less than seven weeks until the international summer begins and one of his biggest tasks will be to understand the internal structures of the England and Wales Cricket Board. Key will have to familiarise himself with the workforce, create new ideas to move the team forward and most importantly, fill the coaching void.

What will the new coaching team look like?

A return to a split system of Test and limited-overs specialists seems inevitable. A mere glance at England's fixture commitments over the next nine months make it the only logical choice and Key has previously come out in support of the idea.

His predecessor Ashley Giles was resistant having worked in an imbalanced partnership with Andy Flower when England first trialled the structure, but appointing two new coaches simultaneously should mean neither one boasts a stronger hand than the other. Whether both coaches will have distinct staffs to work with or whether a central pool of skills coaches will be available to both is less certain and may depend on the budget.

Either way, England can expect a wider field of candidates by streamlining the jobs and reducing the punishing time commitments attached to an all-format position.

Who is in the frame?

Former Australia coach Justin Langer
Former Australia coach Justin Langer

The 4-0 Ashes defeat was horrendous to watch from the outside. The new head coach will have to be someone who has the objective of regaining the urn in 2023. Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting is being touted as a possible choice for Key but Just Langer is also available and it could prove to be too good of an opportunity to turn down for both parties. Langer won the Ashes and the T20 World Cup for the Baggy Greens and has turned them back into competitive side in the ODI format. Paul Collingwood, interim head coach in the West Indies and Chris Silverwood's assistant before that, is well positioned for a promotion and overseeing the white-ball side would be a neat fit. Elsewhere, Sri Lanka great Mahela Jayawardene has previously worked with England and has a strong reputation, New Zealander Stephen Fleming is a renowned leader and South African Gary Kirsten remains interested after applying last time around.

Is Ben Stokes the only option as captain?

Ben Stokes of England in the dugout during the The Ashes
Ben Stokes of England in the dugout during the The Ashes

If Stokes can manage his workload and believes being captain won't have an impact on his performances then you imagine he will have a chance to replace Root. Stokes is also one of few players who are guaranteed a spot in the Test team. Jos Buttler and Rory Burns - regarded as natural leaders - have not set the world alight in recent times and due to their inconsistent form, they are out of the running. Broad has his champions, and has huge reserves of passion and perception, but at 35 faces enough of a battle reclaiming and retaining his place. Drafting a county skipper like Sam Billings or James Vince seems a stretch, while vice-captain would be the highest office Zak Crawley could realistically hope for at this point. If Stokes declines to put his name forward, England will be forced into a major gamble.

Will we see a new selection panel?

Distilling the powers of national selector and head coach in Silverwood's hands was a bold gambit by Giles, but one that has coincided with a dire run of results. At least a partial reversal appears likely, with an independent selector or panel surely needed if two coaches with diverging interests are appointed. A return for Ed Smith looks fanciful - though he may not be finished with the England set-up - and head scout James Taylor lacks a strong voice. But there is a role for someone with broad knowledge of the domestic game to help put things right.

The article Five things Rob Key needs to address, including new head coach and captaincy decision appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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