The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
England shaping up for Bayliss arrival
Hosts show their mettle as Farbrace hands over coaching reins
Paul Farbrace will present Trevor Bayliss with an England team who have already passed a significant test set by the Australian ahead of this summer’s Ashes.
Bayliss’s key directive from afar, before his arrival this week, was that England prove they can play with natural flair and mettle.
After stand-in wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow produced a brilliant, maiden one-day international half-century to clinch the record-breaking Royal London Series against New Zealand, Farbrace had high praise for players who have followed Bayliss’s orders so successfully.
If they can add another win in tomorrow’s T20 at Old Trafford, caretaker coach Farbrace will be able to hand over a side with an unbeaten 2015 series record in all three formats.
The 3-2 ODI win, in a series which made history as the first to contain more than 3,000 runs in five matches, can be rated a proud achievement against opponents who took on Australia in the World Cup final only three months ago.
Bayliss, an ally of Farbrace’s from their days coaching Sri Lanka, is due to fly into England on Wednesday and two days later leave with 14 of his new charges for a training camp in Spain.
The intention is that the four-day trip will ensure Bayliss becomes properly acquainted with those most likely to be named in the squad for the first Investec Test, starting in Cardiff on July 8.
But to Farbrace’s delight, Bayliss already knows – after Alastair Cook’s team drew a manic two-match Test series against New Zealand, and then Eoin Morgan’s 50-over specialists edged their contest – that England are currently staffed by his kind of players.
“It’s something Trevor was very keen on before we started – encouraging them to play the way they play for their counties,” said Farbrace.
England looked likely to fall at the final hurdle in their 12-day run-fest with New Zealand, when they slumped to 45 for five at Chester-le-Street in pursuit of a Duckworth-Lewis target of 192 in 26 overs.
But Bairstow, called in as cover barely 24 hours earlier after Jos Buttler split the webbing on his left hand, had other ideas, sharing a stand of 80 with Sam Billings and finishing unbeaten on 83 as England won with an over and three wickets to spare.