ENGLAND head coach Trevor Bayliss insists he will relish plotting the downfall of his native Australia during this summer’s Ashes series after his appointment was confirmed yesterday.
Bayliss succeeds the sacked Peter Moores, who was axed earlier this month, and becomes the first Australian to lead England, having usurped compatriot and early frontrunner Jason Gillespie on director of cricket Andrew Strauss’s wish list.
Caretaker boss Paul Farbrace, who worked alongside Bayliss with the Sri Lanka national team, will remain in charge for the second Test against New Zealand at Headingley, which gets underway on Friday, and the following one-day series.
Farbrace will then revert to his position as the national side’s No2 when 52-year-old New South Wales coach Bayliss takes up his England post in June ahead of the Ashes, which begin at Cardiff on 8 July.
“I have coached against Australia before with Sri Lanka and we had some success against them, winning a one-day series in Australia and beating them in the Word Twenty20 in 2009,” said Bayliss. “The way I explained it then is that in Australia your toughest battles are against your brothers and best mates in the backyard.
“I know quite a number of the Australia team very well from New South Wales. I expect them to come out and play some tough, hard cricket, and they wouldn’t expect anything different from a team I’m coaching.”
England hold an unassailable lead in their two-Test series against New Zealand following a thrilling 124-run win at Lord’s, while Bayliss has wasted little time in ensuring he is up to speed with his future charges.
“I’ve been watching this last Test against New Zealand at Lord’s very closely, staying up late at night to do some research and it’s been great to see,” he added. “They’ve obviously got some very good talent in the team, and some young talent for the future.
“To come back from 30-4 on the first day to win the match showed a lot of character. That’s what good teams need, character to come through the tough times. I’d much rather come into working with a team that’s on a high.”
As well as guiding Sri Lanka to a World T20 final and World Cup final in 2009 and 2011 respectively, Bayliss has also won two Indian Premier League titles with Kolkata Knights Riders and led Sydney Sixers to Big Bash and Champions League T20 glory.
Bayliss’s one-day credentials have been pointedly highlighted by Strauss, potentially referencing a nod towards a greater emphasis on limited-overs cricket after England suffered ignominious group-stage exits at the most recent 50-over and 20-over World Cups.
“In one-day and T20 cricket you’ve obviously got to have the right players in the team to begin with, and they’ve got to know their roles, and have enough gumption to go out and play their own game,” explained Bayliss. “I’m looking forward to having a good look at the options England have in those shorter forms.”
ENGLAND’S NEW BOSS: THE MUST-KNOW FACTS
SURVIVOR OF A TERRORIST ATTACK
Trevor Bayliss, alongside his No2 Paul Farbrace, were both aboard the Sri Lanka team bus which was attacked by terrorists near the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan in 2009. Six Pakistani policemen and two civilians were killed in the incident, while six members of the Sri Lanka team and two staff members suffered non-fatal injuries.
INSIDER KNOWLEDGE OF AUSTRALIA
The 52-year-old’s knowledge of the Australia team is centred on more than him being an interested observer in the fortunes of his countrymen. Bayliss took charge of Australia’s T20 series victory over South Africa in November last year as head coach Darren Lehmann was afforded a break. Meanwhile, nine members of Australia’s Ashes squad have played for Bayliss at New South Wales.
NOT JUST A ONE-DAY SPECIALIST
Bayliss may well boast a stellar CV in limited-overs cricket, with success internationally as well as domestically, but he is far from a one-trick pony. Not only has he guided New South Wales to Sheffield Shied titles in Australia’s national competition but Sri Lanka also reached a best ever position of second in the world Test rankings under his stewardship.