Trevor Bayliss read the riot act to England after their abysmal batting display against Ireland in an attempt to shake them up before the Ashes.
England crashed to 85 all out in a post-World Cup hangover at Lord’s before their bowlers got them out of jail by skittling Ireland for 38 to win by 143 runs.
Now the England coach, who will return to his native Australia after the Ashes, wants a big improvement and has told his team not to try to ‘bluff’ their way through the biggest Test series in cricket.
‘We had a fairly stern chat after the game,’ said Bayliss of what was described by insiders as a proper dressing down. ‘It’s good to be able to deliver those messages when you have actually won a game.
‘I thought the example of Jack Leach (the nightwatchman who made 92) was one the other batsmen need to learn from. He was very focused on what he wanted to do and was clear in his own mind how he was going to go about it.
‘We speak about that a lot, having a plan for any situation you find yourself in and being clear with your thoughts. Don’t try to just bluff your way through it.’
It is unusual for the mild-mannered
Bayliss to deliver rockets, such is his trust in a player-driven environment, so his attitude is a reflection of his concern that England might already have peaked in their biggest ever summer.
The coach will today again plead with his captain Joe Root to bat at three when England gather at Edgbaston for Thursday’s first Test amid particular worries about the brittle top order of Rory Burns, Jason Roy and Joe Denly.
Root may listen to Bayliss this time and agree to a revamp that would see Denly opening with Burns, the captain at first drop and Roy at four — as advocated by Sportsmail’s Nasser Hussain — to make the most of Roy’s explosive talents. Jofra Archer will have a fitness test before England decide whether the new superstar of world cricket has fully recovered from the side injury that hindered him in the later stages of the World Cup.
Bayliss seemed to suggest Archer’s Test debut will be delayed until the second Test at Lord’s when he told the BBC: ‘We don’t necessarily want to risk him. He played for Sussex in a T20 match on Friday and came through well. Test match cricket is a different beast so we’ll see where he’s at and take a bit from the medical people too.
‘We have to weigh up the possibility of picking him for the first one and then seeing him get injured and being unavailable for selection. We’ve got a good, strong group of bowlers who we think can do the job over the five Tests.’
The coach’s caution increases the chances of both Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes playing in an attack that will also include Jimmy Anderson, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali. The squad of 14 also includes Sam Curran and Olly Stone.Daily Mail