Two of England’s heroes from the 2005 Ashes have been reunited to help the country reinforce their position at the top of limited-overs cricket.
Ashley Giles has been appointed as England’s new limited-overs head coach while Kevin Pietersen’s reintegration into the international fold is almost complete, after he was named in the one-day team to face India in the new year.
Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow and Tim Bresnan – who are currently on duty with the England Test team in India – have been included in both the one-day and Twenty20 squads.
England are currently ranked the top one-day team by the International Cricket Council, but after a disappointing World Twenty20 defence earlier this autumn they have slipped to fourth in those standings.
Pietersen, in keeping with a rotation policy England are clearly keen to continue and develop, will miss two Twenty20 internationals against India next month – and off-spinner Graeme Swann is to take a rest in both series.
But a widely-anticipated return to England’s ODI and Twenty20 plans for Pietersen is nonetheless rubber-stamped by his inclusion for the series in January.
Pietersen’s absence from England’s immediate Twenty20 squad appears to be nothing more sinister than an example of the same strategy that sees Swann also prescribed a rest.
National selector Geoff Miller said: “We are constantly looking to manage the workload of players as effectively as possible – and this winter is no different – so there are a number of players who are being rested for parts of the winter programme.
“This will enable them to take part in fitness and conditioning programmes in preparation for a busy 2013.”
Pietersen had to undergo a period of ‘reintegration’ in order to secure his return to Test cricket, after a breakdown of relations with several senior players and management.
But the mercurial batsman is back with a bang, especially after his man-of-the-match 186 in England’s series-levelling Test victory over India in Mumbai two days ago.
Giles has been brought in to lead the limited-overs teams as team director Andy Flower looks to reduce his role with the set-up.
The ECB confirmed that former off-spinner Giles would take over the reins to “provide a more efficient and sustainable use of coaching resources”.
Flower will remain as England team director, and tour with the Test team, but Giles will take over for next month’s limited overs tour of India.
And Giles is looking forward to the partnerships he will forge with Broad and Cook.
“I take on this new role and I’m looking forward to working closely with Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad to take some of the strain off their shoulders,” he said.
“I’ve got to get my feet under the table.
“Andy has done a fantastic job with all the captains he has worked with – and although of course I have to do things my own way, there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
“I need to give these guys the same support they have had under Andy.”
For Yorkshire first-team coach Jason Gillespie, the splitting of coaching roles at international level is something the rest of the Test-playing nations will soon be emulating.
“A lot of players only play one or two forms of the game while the support staff is the same for all three formats,” said Gillespie.
“It makes sense to have different support staffs.”
There is a place in England’s 13-man Twenty20 squad for Surrey fast bowler Stuart Meaker – as yet uncapped in the shortest format – while James Tredwell is in both squads as a like-for-like replacement for Swann.
England’s first-choice off-spinner has a chronic elbow injury in his bowling arm on which he admits he fears he may have to have surgery again at some point.
Swann, a regular in all formats, has already bowled many overs in England’s ongoing Test tour of India. Stuart Broad will continue to lead England’s Twenty20 squad, in which Meaker and Tredwell are the only players to graduate from outside those who fell short in September.
Joining Tredwell in Alastair Cook’s ODI squad are four others who were absent the last time England played a 50-over series in India, 13 months ago.
They are 21-year-old slow left-armer Danny Briggs, batsman Eoin Morgan and pace bowlers Broad and James Anderson.
Morgan and Broad were not involved last time, because they were recovering from shoulder injuries to help spread the workload that Anderson and Broad will share in the ODI series.
Anderson will be available for the warm-up fixtures and first three matches only, and Broad for the remainder.