Trevor Bayliss believes the Australians are in a transitional phase

David Clough 09:56 09/08/2015
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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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