Who will be the next England head coach following reports of interest from Langer?

Jonathan Doidge considers who’ll be next in the coaching hot seat following yet another series defeat, this time to the hands of the West Indies.

Heads have rolled. The demise of England by four Tests to nil at the hands of Australia prompted a wielding of the axe that has cost Ashley Giles his position as managing director of cricket and Chris Silverwood the role of head coach, while Graham Thorpe is no longer an assistant in the coaching department.

Why anyone was surprised at the pounding taken by England, I'm not sure. The signs were there for all to see before anyone set foot on an aircraft bound Down Under.

The most recent Test series against the West Indies was the start of a 'reset with the red-ball' for England in this format.

The tourists made some big changes to the squad, dropping prolific bowling duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad as well as batters Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed.

Despite encouraging performances in the first and second Tests, with Zak Crawley hitting a century as opener, England went back to doing what they do best by delivering a dramatic batting collapse to give the West Indies victory in the third and final Test.

The West Indies - ranked number eight in the Test world rankings - skittled England out for 120 in their second innings and chased down 28 to win by 10 wickets.

Those remaining in the fold, headed up on the field by Joe Root continuing as captain, now have the embarrassment of just one win in the last 17 Tests to their collective names.

Not only are England searching for a new head coach, they could also be looking for a new captain with fresh calls for Root to quit after a fourth successive series without victory in Test cricket.

There is a lot of work to be done if England are going to become a competitive side in Test cricket and below, we take a look at the contenders to take over from Silverwood as head coach.

Justin Langer

Australia's Coach Justin Langer during a nets session at The Gabba, Brisbane. Issue date: Saturday February 5, 2022.

Justin Langer would appear to be a leading contender. Not only does he have the coaching credentials, as underlined by that recent Ashes thrashing of England when in charge of the Aussies, but he is also well known to England's temporary director of cricket, Sir Andrew Strauss.

Strauss has refused to rule him out after Langer resigned from his role with Australia, if anything further fuelling the flames by talking up the former Australia Test opener as both a coach and someone he knows well from their shared time at Middlesex.

Langer has since revealed his interest in taking up the role if they contact him, according to the Telegraph.

Gary Kirsten

Gary Kirsten

The South African was a real grinder with the bat, but he's also ground out plenty of great results as an international coach.

Let's not forget that he was in charge of the India side that lifted the 2011 World Cup, before leading his beloved Proteas to the top of the world Test rankings a year later.

Perhaps his best chance of being England head coach disappeared when he fluffed his lines at the interview stage last time, and Silverwood gazumped him.

Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting, former captain of one of the greatest Test teams of all time, is another Australian with his name in the frame.

Ponting has been more known for his coaching of T20 teams in recent years but there's absolutely zero doubt that he understands Test cricket better than most.

Something about 'Punter' has a less likely England head coach feel to it than Langer, however, for my money at least.

Paul Collingwood

Paul Collingwood

'Collie' was appointed as England's interim head coach for the return to the Caribbean.

Is he a long-term fix? Well, possibly. He ticks the home grown coach box, he is certainly a hugely respected figure in the game and he has a working knowledge of the talent he'll be responsible for harnessing.

Despite confirming his interest in the vacancy, his chances have taken a huge hit following England's Test series defeat to the West Indies.

Alec Stewart

Alec Stewart

If England are looking for their 21st Century 'Richard The Lionheart', then look no further than 'Stewie'.

As a player, he was a magnificent example of someone getting the best out of themselves. A total professional.

As a coach he has a County Championship win to his name with his beloved Surrey. Again, he commands, perhaps demands, respect.

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The 58-year-old may apparently be a few places down the list of obvious candidates but under him you would see a well organised, well drilled unit, presided over by a thinking cricketer. He'd let no one down.

Anthony McGrath

Anthony McGrath

In terms of his achievements as a player, 'Mags' may not quite have the credentials of some on this list. However, he has already proved that he can handle top players (think Sir Alastair Cook) and win trophies in his time as head coach at Essex.

There was no fluke about him being enlisted for the recent trip to the Caribbean with the England T20 side and he is clearly on the radar. However, all things considered, the timing of this might not be ideal for him.

It would definitely not be surprising if he is taken on in a full-time role as one of the England assistants and he's not the worst ante-post bet as a possible England head coach of the future.

Read more: Joe Root admits captaincy decision is out of his hands after England's loss against West Indies

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