Andrew Strauss
Strauss faces an in-tray full to the brim upon starting his role as director of English cricket Getty Images

The landscape of English cricket is set for another renovation on Tuesday (12 May) as the ECB unveil their new director of cricket, former England captain and opener Andrew Strauss.

After a tumultuous 16 months since the Ashes whitewash defeat to Australia, which has seen the departure of Paul Downton and Peter Moores, the removal of Alastair Cook as one-day captain and the sacking of Kevin Pietersen, the ECB will hope the arrival of Strauss will bring calm.

The reality is Strauss' appointment brings with it a raft of concerns regarding the future of England elite men's team, just over a week before the start of the international summer, and two months out from the Ashes rematch with Australia.

As a relevant and active figure within the sport, Strauss will bring a modern approach to a organisation that has given the impression of being run by disengaged blazers rather than those who know the game.

Strauss is a man with little administrative experience and how quickly he can exert his cricketing knowledge while conforming to the needs of ECB will dictate England's success over the coming months.

But what are the main challenges facing the two-time Ashes-winning skipper? IBTimes UK looks at his in-tray ahead of the international summer.

Appointing a new head coach

Strauss' first act as England director of cricket was to influence the departure of head coach Peter Moores. Though Paul Farbrace will take charge for the two-match series against New Zealand, helping to identify and appoint a new permanent head coach in time for the Ashes will be the next challenge facing Strauss and it could be the most important of all. Yorkshire's Jason Gillespie and Gary Kirsten are among the contenders, but the reality is options are few and far between.

The Kevin Pietersen dilemma

Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss
Strauss and Pietersen's fraught relationship could end chances of a recall for England's record runs scorer Getty Images

The question that simply will not go away is expected to rear its ugly head once again, after Pietersen scored his first County Championship century of the season against Leicestershire. The personal relationship between Strauss and Pietersen is fractured at best, but the new director will be keen to stress cricketing decisions, and not the pair's previous fallings out, will dictate his omission. Should Pietersen's form improve, and more pertinently if England continue to falter, the pressure will swell for his recall. But will Strauss even be allowed to select the 34-year-old?

One-day strategy

England's rudderless World Cup campaign was among the most disastrous global sporting performances in recent memory and it seemed to be based on a prehistoric, dated brand of one-day cricket that saw their international rivals leave them in their wake. Strauss and the new head coach must devise a modernised strategy where explosive hitting and acute death bowling take the fore. Tapping into specialists within the county game is also key to ensuring the limited overs game does not become an unwanted afterthought.

Alastair Cook's future

Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook
Strauss and Cook's good relationship could be firmly tested in the early months of the international summer Getty Images

The under-pressure England captain will find an ally in Strauss, a fellow opening partner at international level, but for how long the harmonious relationship between the two continues is yet to be seen. Cook is currently enduring the most damaging spell of form in his career, with his only Test century since May 2013 coming in defeat to West Indies in Bridgetown. Already ousted from the one-day team, Cook arguably has one summer left to save his career after 18 months of mediocrity. Though Andy Flower, Moores, Pietersen and Downton have all departed, the decision to drop Cook would be the toughest of them all.