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Ashes 2021-22 | Would pick the same team again for Adelaide Test, says Chris Silverwood

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Chris Silverwood backed himself as the "right man" for the head coach job amidst severe criticism

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Ashes 2021-22 | Would pick the same team again for Adelaide Test, says Chris Silverwood

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SportsCafe Desk

12/22/2021

Chris Silverwood backed England's team selection for each of the first two Tests of the ongoing Ashes series, and stated that he would’ve picked the same team again for the Adelaide Test despite a 275-run defeat. Silverwood also backed himself as “the best man for the job”, amidst severe criticism.

England’s heavy defeats in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane and the second one at Adelaide has prompted raging debates over the team selection, and the players’ lack of form. 

While the batting has been heavily reliant on skipper Joe Root, and to an extent Dawid Malan, the bowlers haven’t quite threatened to upset Australia's batting rhythm. To add to the woes has been the poor fielding, with dropped catches, and front-foot no-balls, which have deprived them of wickets on more than one occasion.

Amidst all the criticism going around in terms of team selection and performance, England coach Chris Silverwood felt that the right choices were made going into the Adelaide Test.

"There is always going to be divided opinion. You pick a team and not everybody's going to agree with you… [but] I was happy with the skillset we had in the pink-ball Test, so I would pick the same team again," Silverwood told the BBC.

"I don't [accept we got it wrong]," he said at a subsequent press conference ahead of England's departure to Melbourne on Tuesday. "We picked the best attack for those conditions and you look at the attack we had out, there's a lot of experience. I was happy with that attack this game and I was happy with that attack last game as well."

Silverwood backed himself, saying that he still is “right man for the job” and asked of his team to be realistic going ahead, and pick key learnings after the first two games.

"Am I the right man to help the players get better? Yes, I believe I am. We have had those honest chats and I believe I have the right coaching staff around me to make that happen as well.

"When you take a job like this you accept that [your job is on the line]. It is what it is. Do I believe I'm the right man? Yes I do, or I wouldn't have taken the job in the first place. You're under pressure constantly, aren't you?

"We knew it was going to be difficult when we came out here. Obviously we wanted to win but that is always going to be difficult. We have to be realistic about what we have, but we have to learn."

After the Adelaide Test, Root had remarked that his bowlers’ erred in length and had stated that they needed to be a bit braver in their approach. His statements were criticized by former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who questioned, "If you can't influence your bowlers on what length to bowl, what are you doing on the field?" 

Silverwood pointed out that Root was correct in his assessment, as he identified other areas to press on ahead of the third Test.

"We had a really good talk in the dressing room which was needed. There were a few things thrown out there. Joe is right," Silverwood said. "We could have pitched it up further…potentially yes. But look at the lengths both teams bowled, they were very similar.

"We have to be better, it's as simple as that. It is not just batting and bowling. Look at how many chances we have given up in the field: dropped catches, missed run-outs and everything else.

"Wickets off no-balls are unacceptable. I brought it up last night: this cannot happen. It is a basic error. The lads accepted that. We have had batting collapses. We have spoken about the two in these games. We have had collapses before and we can't afford to do that.”

The third Ashes Test will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, beginning Sunday, December 26.

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