Trevor Bayliss believes the Australians are in a transitional phase

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Mixed emotions: Australian Trevor Bayliss tempered his delight.

England coach Trevor Bayliss could perhaps be forgiven mixed feelings about beating his fellow Australians so resoundingly in the 2015 Ashes.

But he was displaying none at all as he spoke after England regained the urn  yesterday. The 52-year-old’s most pressing concern, in fact, appeared to be that he did not lord his success over his compatriots.

Bayliss was recruited by England two-and-a-half months ago to succeed the sacked Peter Moores, and take over from interim Paul Farbrace – with whom he worked previously for Sri Lanka and who has become his assistant this summer.

The management reshuffle has worked a treat, England consolidating qualified improvement in the drawn series against New Zealand before Bayliss’ arrival and taking an unassailable 3-1 lead in the Ashes.

However, Bayliss was concerned not to be seen crowing in victory. “I’m not going to gloat … in front of them [Australia], anyway.
“I know how much they will be hurting in that changing room.

“Certainly when the boys took that last wicket, and the lap of honour, the hairs on the back of the neck were standing up.”
Australia’s defeat in the series is the seventh occasion in the past eight battles for the urn that the home team has prevailed – prompting some to question whether the geographical advantage is too pronounced.

Bayliss is not among them. “It’s a challenge for any team to win away – that’s the most difficult … (but) I think that’s the way it should be,” he said. “With the wickets we saw, that seamed, and with more swing over here as well, some of the techniques were tested with the Australian boys.

“It’s only the very best players in any international team that are able to score runs away from home.

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“I think the Australian team is probably in a little bit of a transition period – but England were good enough to exploit those weaknesses,” added Bayliss. “The skill they showed, with the movement they were able to extract out of the wicket, was a fantastic effort.”

Captain Alastair Cook admits he privately doubted England’s chances before the series began.

Bayliss said: “I’m not sure I’m surprised. But knowing the strength of the Australian team and the individual players and how good they are, it was going to be a very difficult assignment.

“But I think the first win in Cardiff gave them the belief they were good enough to beat this group of Australian players.”

He has been impressed especially by Cook’s leadership and the continued development of all-rounder Ben Stokes – although he insists further improvement is needed if England are to climb the Test rankings from their current sixth.

“We don’t want to put too much expectation on him, and say he’s going to be the next (Ian) Botham, or the next (Andrew) Flintoff,” he said. “He’ll be the next Ben Stokes.

Cook has formed a winning partnership with the new coach, and Bayliss said: “I think he’s captained extremely well in this series so far – pro-active, not reactive … and I think the results speak for themselves.”

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Sachin Tendulkar and Sachin Gadoya at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai on Saturday.

Sachin Tendulkar’s exploits on the cricket field are not over yet as the Indian batting legend will soon be padding up for a masters event.

Although details of the tournament planned by Tendulkar and Australian great Shane Warne are still to be finalised, with UAE among the potential locations, the Indian superstar promised he will be back in action while speaking to fans in Dubai Saturday night.

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Some of the world’s top recently retired cricketers are expected to be part of the Twenty20 series to be played at various venues around the world. “We might surprise a few people in the time to come,” he said at an event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of UAE’s travel website musafir.com.

“Shane Warne and I plan to do something which people might see and we might be turning out a bit with a bat in hand.”

Tendulkar, who is the brand ambassador of the portal, also presented awards to the employees.

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England’s Ashes triumph surprises captain Alastair Cook

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Cook is proud of the overachieving England.

England captain Alastair Cook said he didn’t think his side were ready to win the Ashes after an innings and 78-run victory in the fourth Test against Australia at Trent Bridge on Saturday saw them regain the urn.

This win, completed inside three days as was England’s eight-wicket success in the third Test at Edgbaston, gave Cook’s men an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match Ashes series.

It came a year and a half after they returned from being whitewashed 5-0 in Australia with Cook – despite a personal slump in the opening batsman’s form – on hand for a rebuilding process which saw England axe star batsman Kevin Pietersen and bring in Australian Trevor Bayliss as coach in place of the sacked Peter Moores before the start of this series.

“From the team’s point of view to win like we’ve done is just beyond belief,” Cook told reporters as he savoured an Ashes series win completed inside 14 days.

“I didn’t think we were quite ready to win the Ashes at the beginning because I thought you needed a group of players who were match-hardened.

“We have won really critical moments and the players have really stepped up which shouldn’t surprise me but it has,” he added.

Cook was not alone in his doubts when, after England won the first Test by 169 runs in Cardiff, Australia hit back with a 405-run success at Lord’s.

But then came Edgbaston and afterwards despite missing the injured James Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker, at Trent Bridge, Cook’s men skittled Australia out for just 60 in their first innings, with Stuart Broad taking a Test-best eight for 15 on his Nottinghamshire home ground.

“I know it sounds a bit silly when you are 2-1 up but the pressure was on that first morning,” said Cook. 

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“Every one of those guys can be very proud about the way they have handled the pressure, clearly led by Stuart.

“To bowl a team out for 60 you’ve pretty much won the game…The guys stood up to the pressure without Jimmy leading the bowling attack.”

Man-of-the-match Broad was on target right from the first over of the match, taking his 300th Test wicket with the third ball of the game.

The paceman paid tribute to the input of Bayliss and the ‘getting to know you’ training camp the squad had with their new coach in Spain just prior to the Ashes that was organised by England managing director and former Test captain Andrew Strauss.

“In my wildest dreams I never thought we would be 3-1 up here at Trent Bridge,” said Broad.

“Maybe we should start every series with a golfing trip if Straussy wants to do it!”

     
– Brilliant Bayliss –     

Another of Bayliss’s important contributions was to suggest that after the match at Lord’s, where a slow pitch without any sideways movement had played into Australia’s hands, that what England needed was to play on classic English pitches which seamed rather than just the dead tracks officials had seemingly ordered in advance.

“Trevor Bayliss has only just turned up, so let’s not give him too much credit,” joked Cook, before adding: “No, he’s been brilliant.

“I had to take a big step forward as captain. I am quite stubborn and it took a while.”

Bayliss, the first Australian to coach England, had plenty of ‘inside knowledge’ to impart from his time coaching New South Wales and the Sydney Sixers.   

However, he said: “It’s a hairs on the back of the neck situation. There’s no mixed emotions.

“The England team should be very proud of their performance.

“I know how good these Australia players are.”

As for his own role, Bayliss said: “I just do things the way I’ve always done them. I say to the players ‘Go out and play your own game’ and that’s something I try to stick to as a coach.”

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