Ashes: Batting collapses worry England coach Bayliss
Trevor Bayliss admits England's habit of batting collapses remains a "concern" as the Ashes loom ever nearer. The England coach's debrief after the tourists completed a 192-run win over a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide did not shy away from more evidence of familiar frailties. Collapses have been an unhappy theme regularly revisited, occasionally even in victory as was the case in warm-up match on Saturday. England lost their last five first-innings wickets for 22 and then seven for 45 - including four for three - at their second attempt. With the first Test just 10 days away, Bayliss acknowledges an ongoing issue. "It's been a concern for us for a little while," said the Australian.
England coach Trevor Bayliss talks to Joe Root during a practice session at the WACA in Perth recently. Pic/Getty Images
Room for improvement
"We have games like that, where we lose wickets like that. It's not for want of trying. They realise they have got to do better, and they are working hard," he said. In two matches, Stoneman has passed 50 in each of his three innings - and all the specialist batsmen, apart from record national runscorer Alastair Cook, have done so at least once. "It would be great if we could have some hundreds, that's for sure," Bayliss said, while also citing the more positive angle that those who set out for Australia with most questions to answer have so far made most of the runs. "Our more inexperienced batters have actually spent some time in the middle. "Before the series, they were the ones under pressure the most, because they don't have a great deal of experience in Australian conditions." Still, three figures are what the coach wants to see against his batsmen's names. "The number one thing for us is that 60s are not enough - we need 160s," he said.
"That's definitely what we will need throughout this Test series." They will need much more productivity too from Cook. Ryan Harris, CA XI coach in Adelaide and ex-Australia bowler, has noted that the former England captain is looking "rusty". It is not a description Bayliss quibbles with, because with Cook it has always been a matter of content over style.