Trevor Bayliss will have just 13 days to prepare England for the Ashes once he arrives in the country. Yet, despite that quick turnaround, the Australian coach is confident he can successfully plot the downfall of his homeland over the coming weeks.
Bayliss has forged a formidable reputation during hugely successful spells in charge of Sri Lanka, New South Wales, Sydney Sixers in the T20 Big Bash and the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
However, the 52-year-old faces arguably his toughest challenge as he attempts to turn the promise of England’s exciting early summer against New Zealand into success in the biggest series of them all.
That process will start on Thursday when Bayliss touches down at Heathrow before meeting Alastair Cook, England’s Test captain, for the first time over dinner on Friday night.
A four-day training camp in Spain with the players starts the following day ahead of the first Test against Australia in Cardiff, which begins on Wednesday 8 July.
There is a lot to do in a short time but it is a challenge Bayliss is relishing. Speaking on his departure from Sydney, he said: “I’ll get to know the players, number one. Apart from that, a little bit of planning before the Ashes.
“I’m confident of putting up a good show [in the Ashes] and if they play some good cricket, there’ll be a chance of winning.”
Bayliss is also confident the feel-good factor generated by recent results can be capitalised on. “It’s been quite exciting. There are some new, young players with plenty of skill and plenty of enthusiasm. It looks like they’re enjoying themselves out in the field and that’s the main thing.”
Root’s form is a major reason for optimism and the 24-year-old batsman believes the team’s new aggressive style can be replicated against Australia. “It’s going to be very important for us to try and develop on the start we’ve made to this summer,” he said. “We’re playing against very strong opposition and we’ll have to play out of our skin to beat them but we know we’re more than capable of doing that if everyone performs.”
England’s one-day success has put the issue of Kevin Pietersen into the background. Bayliss confirmed he was told on accepting the England job that the exiled batsman was not available for selection.
James Anderson has called for a sledging amnesty during the Ashes. “I hope it’s played in the same nature as the New Zealand series,” he said.Reuse content