Trevor Bayliss has announced he will leave his post as England coach in September 2019, when his current contract expires.
Here, we answer some of the key questions arising from the announcement.
Heavy defeats in an Ashes series tend to raise questions about the job security of key personnel and when the inevitable scrutiny arrived at Bayliss’ door, he saw no reason to lie.
Throughout his coaching career Bayliss has never stayed in a post much beyond four years and his stint with England will fit the pattern to a tee.
Those with a greater interest in presentation and perception may have chosen to choreograph news of their planned departure at a better time but the plain-speaking Australian tends to favour an honest answer.
DOES A LONG GOODBYE UNDERMINE HIM?
Telegraphing his exit more than 18 months in advance is certainly unlikely to strengthen Bayliss’ hand, but there is so much cricket in the current, exhaustive calendar that he holds plenty of power for as long as he remains in position.
Players who want to be involved in big set pieces like a home World Cup in 2019 and the subsequent domestic Ashes would be well advised to hang on his every word. But whether a measure of support ebbs away among fans, or even in the ECB’s corridors of power is an open question.
If he is to go out on a tide of goodwill, it will be based on results.
WILL HE GROOM A SUCCESSOR?
Ego is essentially a non-factor for Bayliss, so he will likely do precisely what is asked of him by his employers.
If that means welcoming an heir apparent into the fold and easing his path, expect Bayliss to do it with minimal fuss. If it means getting on with the job while headhunters do theirs, that should also work.
WHO ARE THE LONG-RANGE CANDIDATES?
There was once strong support for Bayliss’ current deputy Paul Farbrace easing into the top job when the time came, but the former’s suggestion that “a new voice” is needed suggests that may not be the favoured plan.
Paul Collingwood is highly-respected and ticks many of the right boxes – an involvement in the coaching set-up but enough distance for deniability, good relations with the current generation, a strong knowledge of the county game – but he is still active for Durham and has never held a permanent coaching position.
Might Chris Silverwood, a title winner at Essex and recently appointed as England bowling coach, fancy a fast-track promotion or will Australian Jason Gillespie, once a red hot favourite for the job and now back in the country with Sussex, come back into the fray?
One thing is for certain though, a third stint for Peter Moores seems unlikely.
COULD ENGLAND SPLIT THE COACHING JOB?
Bayliss’ proposed end date of September 2019 will mark the end of an enormous summer for English cricket.
Not only are they hosting the World Cup, and looking to get their hands on it for the first time, but they are hoping to regain the urn from Australia soon after. Is it possible, or even sensible, for one man to mastermind both projects?
With Bayliss on the way out, the ECB might well consider handing part of his portfolio on to someone else by way of an audition. England pioneered this approach when Andy Flower handed the one-day reins to Ashley Giles but found it an unwieldy method and duly binned it.
The current international schedule almost demands a reappraisal of an idea that may just have been ahead of its time.
Provided by Press Association Sport
England coach Trevor Bayliss will walk away at the end of his contract in 2019 but has vowed to begin the job of building a team ready to win in Australia.
Bayliss insisted the 4-0 Ashes defeat, which was confirmed with this week’s crushing loss in Sydney, had no bearing on a decision that had long been made and it had never been his intention to stay longer.
Having started his tenure by winning the urn in England in 2015, he will sign off next September after another home Ashes contest.
“I told Andrew Strauss (director of England cricket) probably 12 months ago that September 2019 is when I’m contracted to and that would see me out,” he said.
“I’ve never been anywhere any more than four or five years. Whether you’re going well or not I’ve always felt that round about that four-year mark is time to change. A new voice, a slightly different approach slightly reinvigorates things, so I passed that on to him 12 months ago.”
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) January 8, 2018
Announcing his plans shows admirable honesty from the plain-speaking 55-year-old but with English fans, players and administrators all desperate for an improved showing Down Under in four years’ time, it is also a brave step.
Put simply, many of the most important issues facing the national – over selection, style and even infrastructure – will be overseen by a man who will be gone before crunch time arrives.
It puts him in a position somewhat akin to second-term president, trying to institute initiatives he will not benefit from and which could be easily reversed by his successor.
If anything, that elevates Test skipper Joe Root’s importance even more, a fact Bayliss is happy to promote.
“I’ve got no problem working towards a long-term goal even if I’m not going to be there,” he said.
“You leave a coaching position hopefully with the team in a better place than when you started. Joe Root as the captain will still be there and there’s a base of six or seven players that will still be young and good enough to be in the team.
“The captain is in charge, but we’re there to help out. Joe is a young captain and I would expect in four years when he comes back, with another four years’ experience and an away Ashes under his belt, he’ll feel a lot more comfortable.”
The Test squad which travels to New Zealand next month is unlikely to show too many drastic changes, perhaps even just one change apiece in the batting and bowling ranks.
Reactions to Ashes’ defeats have certainly been more dramatic than that in the past but Bayliss accepts the side must evolve if it is to reach new levels.
That process will get under way sooner rather than later, but with a warning attached not to expect instant results.
“It’s not going to be an overnight success. If you bring three or four young blokes into the team it will be a slower process as they learn what the international game is about,” he said.
“It’s about slowly getting them involved, not necessarily in the team but around the squad to begin with and filtering them into the team when positions become available or when they force their way in.
“If it is to occur that we’re not necessarily as successful as we’d like to be because we’re blooding some young players it’s about being able to take it on the chin. Hopefully everybody realises we are heading in a certain direction.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
South Africa’s fast bowlers, led by Vernon Philander, blasted through India’s batting as the host nation gained a 72-run win on the fourth day of the first Test on Monday.
Set 208 to win the first of three matches between the world’s two leading Test teams, number one-ranked India were bowled out for 135 by their nearest challengers.
Here, we look at the good and bad performances of an action-packed Monday in which 18 wickets fell at Newlands.
SHAMI FINDS HIS RHYTHM WHILE BUMRAH CONFIRMS HIS TEST CREDENTIALS
India’s senior-most pacer may have looked off colour in the first innings, but he came out all guns blazing on Monday and was on song from the first delivery of the day.
Mohammed Shami looked to be back at his best as he generated good rhythm and pace clocking over 140 km/h regularly.
The 27-year-old removed both of South Africa’s overnight batsmen in Hashim Amla and Kagiso Rabada to provide India with the early advantage before trapping Vernon Philander in front of the wicket to cap off a stunning display.
Jasprit Bumrah may have leaked runs in the first innings on his Test debut but he did show promise with some uncomfortable deliveries for the batsmen.
The 24-year-old showed his class in the five-day format with a hostile and fiery spell that broke down South Africa’s attack.
He accounted for three of the home side’s notable strong middle-order. He first sent back Faf du Plessis with a venomous delivery that gave the Proteas skipper no chance, before finding a faint inside off Quinton De Kock’s bat to remove the menacing wicket-keeper batsman.
He finished off South Africa’s resistance with the wicket of AB De Villiers to complete a remarkable opening session for India where they picked up eight wickets for 65 runs.
PHILANDER SHOWS WHY HE IS ONE OF THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS
After India’s pacers had run riot in the first session of the day, Philander demonstrated why there is no one better than him in such seaming conditions.
With the Proteas attack a bowler short in Dale Steyn, Philander made up for it in a masterful display of swing and seam at the Newlands.
With his ability to move the red-ball both ways, India’s batsmen were left second-guessing as the 32-year-old piled on one unplayable delivery after the other with breathtaking regularity.
He coxed Vijay into a forward defence to a delivery aimed at off-stump and the ball moved away at the last instance to take the opener’s outside edge.
Virat Kohli managed to get off to a confident start but his stay was short-lived after being trapped lbw to an in-swinging Philander delivery while trying to play across the line.
The seamer’s unpredictable movement then got the better of Rohit Sharma who could only play-on to his stumps.
He returned to pick up three wickets in a single over to claim his best-ever Test figures of 6-42.
INDIA’S TOP THREE FAIL FOR THE SECOND TIME
While Cheteshwar Pujara had expressed confidence in India’s batting-card, the 208-run target was always going to be a mountain to climb for the visitors on a lively pitch.
India’s openers got positive starts but the pair fell in quick succession to give the Proteas the solid start they required in defence of a not-so-intimidating total.
Murali Vijay reviewed successfully twice in the opening half hour to earn a couple of reprieves but he would not be a third time lucky as Philander hit the sweet spot to take the right-hander’s outside edge.
With India reduced to 30-2, the pressure was on Pujara to provide some stability but the 29-year-old received an unplayable delivery from Morkel which kissed the outside edge of his bat to leave the visitors tottering.
INDIA’S MIDDLE-ORDER DOES NOT FARE ANY BETTER
While India’s top-order had failed spectacularly, their middle-order comprising captain Kohli fared no better as the visitors lost seven wickets before tea to all but end its hopes of a famous win.
Kohli seemed determined to set things right after his horrific dismissal in the first-innings as he ran hard between the wickets showing strong intent. He missed an in-swinger from Philander while playing across the line to fall lbw and his dismissal started a procession for India’s lower middle-order.
Sharma wafted weakly to a Philander delivery outside off and paid the price as he chopped onto his stumps. First-innings hero Hardik Pandya poked loosely to a Rabada delivery which straightened after pitching to compound India’s misery. It was all but over for the tourists when Wriddhiman Saha was trapped on the pads in the last delivery before tea to the excellent Philander.