2017 ICC Champions Trophy: We Can Beat Anyone On Our Day So We Have A Chance Of Winning, Says England Coach Trevor Bayliss
The upcoming ICC Champions Trophy is seen by many as probably the best opportunity for England to end their long wait for a global ICC trophy. The pioneers of the game rarely boasted of a world-class team in the limited-overs format in the past but their current side is as formidable anyone can expect and has the ability to beat the best of the sides in world cricket right now.
Under Eoin Morgan and with the likes of Jason Roy, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, the Three Lions have made a remarkable turnaround after the disastrous 2015 World Cup when they exited the tournament at the group stage after being beaten by Bangladesh.
They have managed to put up huge totals on a consistent basis and the way they outplayed England in the first two matches of the recently-concluded three-match ODI series against South Africa is enough to prove their credentials as strong contenders for the Champions Trophy. But then again, their performance in the last match of the series served a timely reminder that complacency can brutally quash their hopes of lifting the coveted trophy at home.
England was reeling at 20 for 6 and became the first team to ever lose six wickets inside the first five overs of an ODI before being guided to a respectable total by Jonny Bairstow’s half-century. England was eventually bowled out for 153 and South Africa chased down the small total inside 29 overs with seven wickets in hand.
Speaking after the game, England coach Trevor Bayliss admitted that his players were tentative but at the same time defended his team by saying that it could happen on pitches that assist the bowlers.
“We did actually look a bit tentative, we weren’t quite in our minds positive enough by defending well and getting that extra couple of inches into the ball,” he said. “That can happen on wickets that are doing a bit. You’re always a little bit tentative. They got the ball in the right areas and it was one of those days where we nicked them.”
Some doubts might crop up in England’s mind after the performance but Bayliss hinted that his team is not going to change the style that has yielded good results for them in the last couple of years.
“If you play that way and back yourself, we’ve won over the last two years because we’ve played that way. Yes, we have lost games because we’ve played that way also.
“When it doesn’t come off, it can look ordinary but the one thing this team has done really well is that when we’ve had sessions like that when we’ve lost wickets in heaps and everyone says you’ll be struggling from now on, the boys will come out the next game and just play like they did two games before and make 300 plus. That’s one of the strengths of this team,” the former Sri Lanka coach said.
The Australian further said that England can win the tournament only if they back themselves and play boldly.
“I haven’t seen a team win a global tournament that has played defensively,” he said. “It’s always a team that backs itself and plays bold cricket.”
Jason Roy’s form, meanwhile, will be a big worry for the Champions Trophy hosts. The explosive opener, who was England’s highest run-scorer in the ODI series in India earlier this year, managed just 13 runs in 3 outings. But with Morgan’s support firmly behind him, Roy is likely to partner Alex Hales at the top and Bayliss also hinted of the same thing. But he also did not rule out a slim possibility of including the in-form Jonny Bairstow in the side.
“From a coaches point of view, you worry about anyone who has been out of runs,” Bayliss said. “He’s been important to us over the last couple of years, the way he plays at the top of the order. For us to do well in this tournament, one of the things we would need is Jason playing well at the top of the order.
“Another whose importance to England is undoubted is Ben Stokes who missed the final game of the series against South Africa to rest an injury to his left knee which limited him to just five overs’ bowling in the first two ODIs. While Bayliss confirmed that if the Lord’s match had been a final Stokes would have played, he also confirmed the Durham all-rounder would play the Champions Trophy just as a batsman should that be required,” he added.
England kicks off their Champions Trophy campaign on Thursday (June 1) against Bangladesh at The Oval.
Speaking about his team’s chances in the eight-team tournament, Bayliss said:
“We’ve got a chance. I’m not saying we are an outright chance and we are necessarily favourites. I think there are four or five really good teams who on their day can beat anyone. We’ve shown that we can beat anyone on our day so we have a chance.”
JP Duminy Picks All-Time IPL XI, Virat Kohli To Lead
Former South African batsman JP Duminy has picked his all-time IPL XI in which he selected Virat Kohli to lead the team. Surprisingly, there was no place for CSK captain MS Dhoni and his deputy Suresh Raina. In fact, Duminy has not followed the rule…
SL Would Have Chased If Angelo Mathews Had Been Fit For 2011 WC Final – Kumar Sangakkara
Sri Lanka’s former skipper Kumar Sangakkara has revealed that he would have selected to field first after winning the toss if all-rounder Angelo Mathews had been fit for the 2011 World Cup final. Mathews had played a key role in the semi-final contest against New…