ENG vs WI 2017: Trevor Bayliss All Praise For Newcomers’ Characters
With just one Test remaining before England visits Australia for the all important Ashes, the shocking defeat against Windies at Headingley was the last thing they would have wanted. Throughout former captain Alastair Cook’s captaincy spell, England had struggled to find the consistency and although new captain Joe Root managed to lead the team to a convincing 3-1 win over South Africa, England’s problem of coming up with a horrible performance after a dominating one is still not sorted.
But despite the big defeat, England coach Trevor Bayliss looked more keen on finding the positives from the game as he praised England’s newcomers for performing in tough times. Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan scored half-centuries in the second-innings after the visitors had taken a big 169-run lead as the hosts put up a commanding 490 for 8 declared.
“It was probably a bit more difficult than it looked [on day one] but I still thought it was a good wicket,” Bayliss said. “The one thing I was very happy about was the second innings. They learned their lessons. They spoke about not going for the big drives. The thing that surprised them about the wicket on the first day was how slow it was and we got out a number of times off the inside edge. In the second innings, it was about batting for a long period of time and I thought they showed a lot of character.”
“More than anything they started to look comfortable at the crease. Mark looks like a tough type of a player to me. He looks like he’s ready for a scrap the whole time but when the bad ball comes along, he is able to put it away. Dawid has a couple of the 60s now and I thought he was starting to look more comfortable in this Test match,” he added.
Bayliss further insisted that the third and last Test against Windies will provide the players with an opportunity to seal their place in the team for the Ashes tour.
“They’ve started to look comfortable and they can both play off the back foot so the signs are looking good. As you know, we’ve said that before. To be honest, I’ve still got my fingers crossed for them,” he added.
The head coach was an also slightly critical of England’s bowling performance in the first innings. While Windies caused all sorts of trouble for the hosts before dismissing them for just 258, England bowlers could not capitalize on a good pitch as the visitors put up a massive 427.
“West Indies bowled a really good length,” he said. “We were a little bit two sides of the wicket and a little bit too short. We went passed the bat a fair bit and had a lot of edges which ran down to the third man and I think that frustrated our blokes. We didn’t follow that up with more good balls and let them off the hook with balls on the hip or easy four balls. Most of the time with the bowlers we’ve got, it doesn’t happen very often.”
Bayliss also defended Joe Root’s decision to declare on the fourth evening of the game. England set the visitors a target of 322 which they achieved quite easily on the fifth day to level the three-match series.
“I don’t think it will affect him too much,” said Bayliss. “I hope the result doesn’t change the way he thinks about the game. In that situation, more times than not, we’ll win more than we lose. The wicket played pretty well and the West Indies played even better, so all credit to them, but I’d like to see the same sort of thought process happening in the future.”
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