Bayliss puts England batsmen on notice

2015-07-20 12:54
Trevor Bayliss. (AFP)

London - England coach Trevor Bayliss has told his side's struggling batsmen they can take nothing for granted following a stunning collapse in the second Ashes Test at Lord's.

Australia crushed England by 405 runs with more than a day to spare as they levelled the five-match series at 1-1 with their arch-rivals slumping to a meagre 103 all out in 37 overs at Lord's on Sunday.

On a pitch where Australia declared twice, England suffered the latest in a line of top-order collapses that have plagued them since their tour of the West Indies earlier this year.

They were 30 for four in their first innings and 48 for four second time around at the 'home of cricket'.

It was all a far cry from England's 169-run win in the first Test in Cardiff the week before.

England captain Alastair Cook, who made 96 in the first innings at Lord's, is the only member of the top order who can be confident of retaining his place when the selectors meet on Tuesday to pick a squad for the third Test at Edgbaston starting on July 29.

However, his opening partner Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance and Ian Bell have reason to fear for their spots in the side after managing just two fifties between them in 12 innings so far this series.

Jonny Bairstow, who made a century for Yorkshire on Saturday, is pressing hard for a return to Test duty, with a recall for the exiled Kevin Pietersen seemingly a forlorn hope for the star batsman's fans.

"There are some good players on the outside and we've got a selection meeting," said Bayliss, the first Australian to coach England.

"I'm not going to speculate on what exactly will happen until Tuesday.

"Every innings we've been four for 30 or four for 40... I suppose that's always a concern.

"But what you've also got to do is give the players that are in there as much confidence as possible as well.
"They are obviously good players and the reason they are in the team is because they are thought of as the best players in England at the moment."

Bayliss, who took charge just days before the Ashes, also offered his opinion on the vexed subject of pitch conditions.

There has been repeated speculation from a number of pundits, admittedly without much hard evidence, that England have deliberately ordered docile pitches to neuter the impact of Australia's pace attack.

But with Australia's pacemen, led superbly by Mitchell Johnson at Lord's, that much faster through the air than their England counterparts, playing the series on low and slow pitches could harm the home side far more than their oldest foes.

"We've got no control over what the wickets are like, but certainly a flat wicket plays into the Australians' hands," said Bayliss.

"I think a flat wicket suits not only their batters but also the bowling attack they've got, more so than it does ours.

"So I'd like to see a wicket with more in it.

"That might make it more difficult for us to bat on it, but if we're able to take 20 wickets even if they take 20 wickets then we're still a chance of winning."

Johnson's display at Lord's was, at times, reminiscent of the form he showed in taking 37 wickets during Australia's 5-0 home Ashes rout of England in 2013/14.

Bayliss, asked if England could repel Johnson, said: "Well they did down in Cardiff, but he's a good bowler there's no denying that and he bowled pretty well in this match.

"Probably the one shot we didn't employ against him was the leave.

"But the players have got to work out an individual plan how they are going to bat and bowl against this opposition and then concentrate on that and worry about what they're doing, not anybody else."

Read more on:    ashes  |  trevor bayliss  |  cricket

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