Geoffrey Boycott opened a scathing attack on coach Ashley Giles after England's continued dismal showing over the last five months, a series of defeats that began with the Ashes debacle in Australia. Boycott, a former England captain, who is now a well-respected commentator, is not known to mince words and targeted Giles over his tactics after the English were blown away from the ICC World T20, where they failed to qualify for the last-four and finished the tournament with a humiliating loss to minnows Netherlands.
Giles has been in charge of the limited overs side for a while now and is widely tipped to take over as head coach after Andy Flower bowed out following the whitewash Down Under. However, Boycott insisted the former left-arm spinner was clearly not the man to take England to the next level, especially with strong challenges from Sri Lanka and India scheduled in the coming months.
"For some time, I've watched the way he's gone about handling the ODI game. He's been in charge for a while now and I've never really understood or enjoyed or appreciated some of his team selections," Boycott told ESPN Cricinfo. "I'm not against him just because they lost to Netherlands in the World T20, which was pretty poor, it's an overall view. "
"He also makes the usual platitude of taking positives out of defeats or poor performances. Like losing to Netherlands, how the hell do you take positives out of that? For god's sake, I want him to get cross, be upset, feel the pain and hurt"
Boycott likened Giles to Test captain Alastair Cook and said like the southpaw, the coach was a nice man but indicated nice men do not always end up on the winning side. Boycott referred to how Australian skipper Michael Clarke and former coach Mickey Arthur were too nice about their approach before it all changed when Darren Lehmann took charge, helping Australia begin their journey back to the top of world cricket. Under Lehmann, Clarke rediscovered the good old Aussie aggression, letting loose Mitchell Johnson as the Baggy Greens steamrolled England 5-0 in the return Ashes before recording a series victory against a strong South Africa in their own den.
"I think English cricket needs somebody who is opposite from Alastair Cook. People at the top have decided we don't seem to have anybody else apart from Cook, which is why he's got it, so he's got to improve a lot because he's not that good, he really isn't", Boycott told ESPN Cricinfo's talk-show 'Bowl at Boycs'.
"He's a beautiful boy. If you had him as a son or a son-in-law you'd be proud, but that's not the same as leading a cricket team, or leading people in war or leading people in anything."
England have been criticised for their overtly defensive tactics that cost them the Ashes, quickly followed by a ruthless drubbing in the ODIs against the same opponents. Kevin Pietersen, the best batsman in the English team faced the axe after a reported confrontation with his captain and then coach Andy Flower. There were also a lot of questions raised on whether everything was right with English cricket when established Test batsman Jonathan Trott quit midway through the Ashes citing mental depression.
Pietersen has promised to reveal the reason behind his fall-out with the team management in a revealing interview later this year in October, when his gag order comes to an end and it could spell further doom for a team struggling with several issues. Barely eight months back, England were on a high, having retained the Ashes, soon after their historic Test series win in India. Now, with a key batsman opting out because of a stress related issue and another star sacked because of disciplinary reasons, the country that invented the game is facing an uphill task in their attempt to recover lost ground.