The Ashes 2017-18: Batting Collapses Have Been A Concern For Us For A Little While: Trevor Bayliss
With less than a couple of weeks remaining before the first Ashes Test gets underway in Brisbane from November 23, England received a much-needed boost with an impressive win over Cricket Australia XI in the warm-up game. But while the 192-run win will give Joe Root & Co. the confidence, the persisting batting vulnerabilities has given the team management a lot to worry about, and head coach Trevor Bayliss has admitted it.
Against a bowling lineup which did not have a single international bowler, the England batsmen would have loved to score big, but that did not happen. The visiting batsmen recorded five half-centuries in Adelaide and Bayliss made it clear that ‘sixties aren’t enough, we need 160s.
“Sixties aren’t enough,” Bayliss said. “We need 160s. Batting collapses have been a concern for us for a little while. We have games like that, where we lose wickets like that, and it is a concern. The batsmen realise they have got to do better and they are working hard to do that.
None of the English batsmen could manage more than 63 runs in an innings, making Cricket Australia XI coach Ryan Harris calling the England batting “vulnerable”.
“Their batting is vulnerable, absolutely. Especially with no Ben Stokes at six or seven,” Harris said after the match.
Meanwhile, Bayliss is hopeful the England batsmen would make the most of the practise game against the same opposition in Townsville.
“By all accounts the wicket in Townsville is a pretty good one. It’s quite flat. Hopefully that will help our batters make some big scores. Not just spend time in the middle, but make 100s. That’s definitely what we will need throughout this Test series,” he said.
“It would be great if we could have some hundreds, that’s for sure. Obviously, once the Test series comes around, the intensity of that competition, hopefully, that really kicks our batters into gear,” he added.
At the same time, Bayliss had a word of praise for the bowlers who were responsible for firing England to the morale-boosting win.
“We got our lengths a lot better here,” he said. “In Perth, we bowled a lot of half-volleys and a lot of long-hops. In this match we got the lengths better and put pressure on the opposition.
The Australian also gave an injury update on fast-bowler Jake Ball who sprained his ankle in the warm-up and was sidelined for a week.
“Jake is fairly confident. It is possible he could be fit for the game in Townsville but we will probably rest him there and make sure that he is right for selection for that first Test. He should be fine in seven to 10 days,” Bayliss said.
Bayliss went on to admit that Mark Wood, Tom Helm and Liam Plunkett might all have been selected ahead of George Garton as cover in Townsville but the uncapped left-arm pacer was selected because of being fit.
“Why did we call-up George Garton? Because he’s fit. Wood and Helm were our first two choices. They are coming out with the Lions but aren’t quite up to game speed. They have only been bowling in the nets for a week or two so we were a bit concerned about them in a four-day game,” he revealed.
“Plunkett missed the last game in the BPL with a slight hamstring strain so it’s down to Garton or Josh Tongue, who were both coming out with the Lions. Garton will join us for the Townsville game then go back to the Lions camp. The Lions will come to some of our training sessions in Brisbane or Perth,” he added.
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