England don’t have a real leader as their coach, opines Mickey Arthur

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Former Australia and Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur has trashed England Test skipper Joe Root’s assessment that county cricket is the reason behind England’s ongoing struggles, saying they need a coach who can “lead that dressing room with the captain”.

England are looking for a replacement for Chris Silverwood, who stepped down as chief coach in the aftermath of the Ashes debacle in Australia. Interim coach Paul Collingwood too has failed to impress as the Joe Root-led led Test side lost the three-match away series to the West Indies 0-1.

England have won just one of their last 17 Tests. In the current World Test Championship (2021/23) cycle, they have played 12 Tests, winning just one, and are ninth and last behind Bangladesh.

“It’s not the county system’s fault England have only won one Test in the last 17. We weren’t talking about the system when England won the (2019) World Cup and became the best white-ball team in the world,” said Arthur, the current head coach of county side Derbyshire, to Daily Mail.

“I hear they are thinking about reducing the number of counties? That would be short-sighted. England are not losing because Derbyshire are in the County Championship,” added Arthur, launching a staunch defence of the county setup.

England skipper Joe Root, following his team’s 0-4 loss in the Ashes had said, “Anyone that’s coming into this Test team at the minute is doing it in spite of county cricket, not because of county cricket. There are definitely things that need to change.”

Rejecting Root’s claim, Arthur, who has also coached South Africa and Pakistan, said the problem was not with the county system but the lack of a “real leader” as coach.

“England need a real leader as their next coach. The tail might have been wagging the dog for a little bit too long. They need a guy who can lead that dressing room with the captain. I’ve looked at it very closely and, without wanting to have a go at anybody, technically the England batters are not what they should be. You look at Joe Root and Ben Stokes but there are not a huge amount of other international batters available to England.

“Now I don’t think that’s a problem with the county system. I think it’s down to coaching and you have to look at their techniques as they come through. Maybe, English batters need to be coached a bit better at an earlier stage of their career,” opined Arthur.

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