Bayliss gears up for Ashes task

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Published: Wednesday 24th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Incoming head coach Trevor Bayliss is ready to throw himself into England’s Ashes preparations when he touches down on Thursday.

England’s first Australian coach has a short lead-in to the hotly-anticipated series – meeting captain Alastair Cook over dinner on Friday, leading the squad on a get-to-know-you trip to Spain the following day and taking charge of his first Test on July 8.

It is a tough ask to plot and impart a blueprint for success in that time-frame, but caretaker coach Paul Farbrace has at least left him a firm base to work from, drawing the Test series against New Zealand and winning both one-day and Twenty20 formats.

Speaking to Fox Sports at Sydney airport, Bayliss said: “I’ll get to know the players, number one…apart from that, a little bit of planning before the Ashes.

“It’ll be some good fun, I think. I’ll be just doing things the way I normally do with any of the cricket teams I’ve been involved in and hopefully that means England playing some good cricket.

“Hopefully (there’ll be) two teams playing some good cricket, and it’s a win-win for the game of cricket.

“I’m confident of putting up a good show and if they play some good cricket, there’ll be a chance of winning.”

Only six of the much-improved limited-overs squad will join Bayliss in Spain, with just four (Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Mark Wood) expected to start the first Investec Test in Cardiff.

But he is delighted at the momentum the white-ball group have created.

“It’s been quite exciting,” he added.

“There are some new, young players in there with plenty of skill and plenty of enthusiasm.

“It sounds like they’re in a good place, it looks like they’re enjoying themselves out in the field and that’s the main thing.”

Bayliss was also asked, probably not for the last time, about his stance on Kevin Pietersen.

The divisive batsman is currently on duty in the Caribbean Premier League and his ECB-enforced exile seems more permanent than ever, but Bayliss was still pressed for an opinion.

“Apparently he’s unavailable for selection, so that’s all I know at this stage,” he said.

“He is a good batter, but at this stage he’s unavailable. That’s all I know.”

Published: Wednesday 24th June 2015 by The News Editor

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