By Nasser Hussain for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:28 BST, 11 September 2019 | Updated: 23:03 BST, 11 September 2019
What happens on the field at the Oval over the next five days is hugely important because a 2-2 scoreline in the Ashes would be far better for England than 3-1 to Australia.
But what happens away from it will be equally important as England begin to plot the best way forward after the failure to regain the Ashes.
When I became captain in 1999 our new coach Duncan Fletcher stayed in the background before fully taking over that winter, but I was having a lot of meetings with him and Lord MacLaurin to work out the best direction to take the team in. So that should be happening again now.
Ashley Giles must reveal whether he thinks Joe Root is the best man to take England forward
This is a big week for Ashley Giles as he first should decide if he believes Joe Root is still the best man to take England forward. And if he does then he should announce that publicly.
Then he must sit down with Root to discuss the issues and the ‘new direction’ the captain talked about on Wednesday and ask why this Test side is not making the same strides as the one-day team that won the World Cup. While the limited-overs team are unrecognisable from the one Trevor Bayliss inherited, the Test side is pretty much the same and the only player who has really added to the side, Jofra Archer, has come from abroad, not the English set-up.
Giles will think about what type of coach Root needs and can work with and what are the issues with selection because there are rumours of a stand-off between Root and Bayliss on one side and the selection panel of Ed Smith and James Taylor on the other.
Chris Woakes is back after being