England head coach Trevor Bayliss has expressed a satisfaction so far, with the way his players have had performed in a couple of practice matches in Australia, before the kick off of the five-match traditional series Down Under scheduled next week.
“Over the three games, we have got as much out of it as we possibly could. We started slow, then built it up over the last couple of games,” Bayliss told ESPNcricinfo.com.
Bayliss believes England is in good condition to give their best while overseeing the bowlers since the 16-member squad landed in Perth on October 29.
“A number of guys spent time in the middle with the bat and the bowlers got a lot of overs under their belts,” Bayliss remarked.
The 54-year-old New South Wales-based Bayliss had played 58 Tests for Australia and is looking forward to imparting the all-important knowledge to England players, as a chief coach with Ashes starting on November 23.
Bayliss is confident to see England players shining brightly against the bitterest rival both with the bat and a ball after spending nearly three weeks on Australian soil before the series opener in Brisbane next week.
“Hopefully everyone now has got their rhythms right and they can come out next week and go from ball one,” Bayliss maintained.
In May 2016, England Cricket Board (ECB) appointed Bayliss as the head coach while succeeding Peter Moores.
Not believing in numbers, Bayliss had hailed the efforts of opener Mark Stoneman, and fast bowler Jake Ball, who played three Test each for the national side following the recent efforts in Australian conditions at venues like Sydney and Adelaide before the three-day fixture at Townsville ended on a draw.
Dawid Malan and Stoneman registered two centuries which further saw Mason Crane claiming four wickets in the first innings against Cricket Australia-led by Matt Short. On the other hand, England posted 515 runs in 142.5 overs after CXI was bundled out for 250 in the first innings before scoring 364 for four in 110 overs on the third and final day of the warm-up fixture on November 18.
Bayliss hinted England would prefer Ball over Craig Overton in the playing XI even after sprained ankle after sending down 3.4 overs against Western Australia-led by Mitchell Marsh.
“Is it Ball v Overton for selection? I see it just like that, yes. Ball is fine now. He’s fully fit and will be available for selection. I’m pretty close to knowing the XI in my mind, yes,” Bayliss explained.
Ball has fully recovered from the ankle injury which further saw him giving his best in nets, as England lost Ben Stokes’ replacement lanky fast bowler Steven Finn due to a knee injury.
“He’s fine now. He bowled on Friday and got through a few spells in the nets today [Saturday]. He should be fit and raring to go for Brisbane,” Bayliss maintained.
Admitting the fact, Bayliss stated the batsmen are supposed to show the promise in Australia, as England as a unit struggled in the warm-up fixtures with their bowling spearheaded by James Anderson is a strong force to reckon.
“It’s not really damaging to us before the first Test. It was good to spend some time in the field,” Bayliss concluded.
As we are heading into the 70th Ashes series which is shared equally by Australia and England for the number of 32 times, the much-awaited series could spring a surprise or so. As Bayliss already remarked he was taken by surprise when Cricket Australia national selectors announced the 13-member squad which listed a discarded gloveman Tim Paine, who played his last Test in 2010.
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Concluding, Bayliss stated England has to play a quality cricket, as Australia has been a dominating force at home.