Mark Ramprakash has emerged as the favourite to succeed Graham Gooch as England batting coach.
Gooch left the role last week after nearly five years in the job following crunch talks with captain Alastair Cook and new head coach Peter Moores.
Cook reportedly told Gooch that the time was right for a change, but Moores and his ECB colleagues now face a tough selection process in deciding Gooch’s replacement.
Ramprakash, who coaches England Lions, appears to be the frontrunner to become that replacement, but he told The Telegraph that potential candidates are not even sure what the role entails.
The ECB are yet to decide whether to have one batting coach across all formats of the game, or whether to have separate coaches for limited overs matches and Tests. Gooch only worked with the players in Tests, while Graham Thorpe has remained the batting coach for T20s and ODIs. However, Thorpe is not believed to be interested in taking on the role if it were to encompass all forms.
Thorpe will, nonetheless, continue working with the England camp at least for the fixtures against Scotland and Sri Lanka.
While Gooch’s sacking may not have been handled in the most dignified of fashions, something must be done if Moores is to stop the rot left by his predecessor Andy Flower.
It is over a year since England scored 400, a statistic that will surprise few, but with this being Moores’ second stint, there is even more pressure on the former Lancashire coach to turn the side’s fortunes around.
In this sense, Ramprakash has the potential to make – or break – Moores’ second stint, should he be given the job.
New assistant coach Paul Farbrace, who won the T20 World Cup with Sri Lanka earlier this year, will also have a say in choosing the new batting coach, as will Cook.
Cook seems to have at least improved his own form, impressing for Essex in the early part of the county season with an unbeaten 127 against Derbyshire.
It may just be that there is something endemic in the England batting order, though, that leads to collapse after collapse, and their mentality is something the new coach will need to address quickly.
Ramprakash’s time with the Lions, as well as his experience coaching Middlesex, has put him in pole position for the post, and could provide a degree of consistency – as opposed to bringing in a complete outsider - amidst a wave of change.
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