Bayliss plays straight bat on KP selection

2015-06-25 09:08
Kevin Pietersen. (Gallo Images)

Sydney - Incoming England coach Trevor Bayliss refused to be drawn on Thursday on whether he wants Kevin Pietersen in his Ashes squad, while saying he was impressed by the team's recent performances against New Zealand.

Bayliss, an Australian, was appointed as the new England head coach in May to succeed the sacked Peter Moores, and left Sydney to take up the reins ahead of the first Ashes Test against his home nation in Cardiff on July 8.

He played a straight bat when pressed by Australian broadcaster Fox Sports at the airport on whether he wanted the exiled Pietersen back on the team.

"Look, apparently, he's unavailable for selection, so that's all I know at this stage," said Bayliss, a former Sri Lanka coach who was most recently at New South Wales.

"He is a good batter but at this stage he is unavailable, so that's all I know."

Pietersen, England's leading all-time run-scorer across all formats, was told by new England director of cricket Andrew Strauss in May that he was "not part of our plans for the summer".

Strauss added that there was a "massive trust issue" between the England and Wales Cricket Board and the controversial batsman, despite Pietersen smashing an unbeaten triple century for Surrey just ahead of the announcement.

The first Australian to coach England, Bayliss will spend four days bonding with his new team in camp in Spain.

His arrival follows England sharing its recent two-Test series with New Zealand 1-1 then defeating them 3-2 in a thrilling one-day international series and winning their sole Twenty20.

Bayliss said he was looking forward to getting to know the players and said he was impressed by what he had seen from a distance.

"It's been quite exciting, the series against New Zealand, the Tests and the one-dayers - got some new, young players in there with plenty of skill, plenty of enthusiasm," he said.

"So it sounds like they're in a good place, they look like they're enjoying themselves out in the field and that's the main thing."

With expectations high that England can put up a fight against the Australians, Bayliss said he would not stray far from the methods that have served him well in his coaching career that has also included stints with the Sydney Sixers and Kolkata Knight Riders.

"I'm looking forward to it, to be involved in an Ashes series will be some good fun, I think," he said.

"I will be just doing the things I normally do with any of the cricket teams I've been involved with, and hopefully that means England will be playing some good cricket.

"I'm confident of putting up a good show and if they play some good cricket they'll be a chance of winning," he added.

During the last Ashes campaign, Australia whitewashed England 5-0 on home soil in 2013/14.

Read more on:    kevin pietersen  |  trevor bayliss  |  cricket

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