‘I said they’ve got to think outside the box!’
Outgoing coach Trevor Bayliss says Joe Root is under no pressure as England captain despite Australia retaining the Ashes with one Test to play at The Oval.
Joe Root is under no pressure as England captain, according to outgoing coach Trevor Bayliss.
Failing to win back the Ashes has led to Root’s position being discussed, particularly amid somewhat inconsistent batting performances.
But Bayliss, who leaves after four years following the fifth and final Test at The Oval, says there are no issues.
“He’s not come under question from anyone making any decisions,” Bayliss said. “He’s under no pressure at all.”
On Root’s batting, Bayliss said: “Everyone goes through periods where they don’t score as many runs as they’d like. I think the Australian team have bowled pretty well to him, so we’ll see how things go further down the line.
“From my point of view, he was our premier batter and the Australians always try and target the opposition captain. He’s played well when he’s got starts and I don’t see too many problems.”
After winning at Old Trafford to go 2-1 up in the series, Australia’s players celebrated on the field and were accused by some of mocking England spinner Jack Leach.
“Fake news, like Donald Trump says,” Bayliss said. “No one has mentioned it or spoken about it. It’s all talk from you guys (the media).”
Bayliss will return to Australia after the series, following July’s World Cup glory.
“I am sad to be leaving,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic environment to work in. Everyone has made me feel at home.
“From a cricket sense, we’ve had a lot of good performances – the cherry on top the World Cup win.
“But I am looking forward to getting home and it’s time for someone else to come in with a new voice.”
Injured James Anderson agrees with Bayliss, saying Root is still the best man to captain England and has vowed to be part of the team’s next chapter.
Root couldn’t call on Test cricket’s most-prolific seamer. Anderson bowled just four overs on day one of the series, a calf injury wrecking his hopes of further action.
Anderson, 37, has played 149 Tests but has no intention of ending his England career on such a disappointing note. When he returns, he hopes Root is still at the helm.
“He’s definitely the man to take us forward. Absolutely – he’s got a lot to give.
“He has done some great work. But the team has been developing over the last few years and, going into a big series like this, you want a settled team that’s fit and firing. I feel for Joe as he’s not quite had that. It’s been difficult.”