TEST skipper Alastair Cook believes the expansive global knowledge of newly-appointed head coach Trevor Bayliss means that England have pulled off a “great coup” by hiring the Australian.
Bayliss will take the England reins ahead of this summer’s Ashes series, although for now the national side remains under the caretaker command of Paul Farbrace, starting with the second Investec Test against New Zealand at Headingley, which begins today. Having coached Sri Lanka and New South Wales as well as Sydney Sixers and Kolkata Knight Riders, Bayliss has an extensive CV which encapsulates all three formats of the game, while Cook insists the 52-year-old’s record of success also demands respect.
“It’s obviously, for England, a great coup to have Trevor in terms of his experience, certainly of Australian players, but just of the world game as well,” said Cook, who notched his 27th Test century during England’s 124-run win in the first Test at Lord’s.
“I don’t know him that well. I played against his Sri Lankan team and I had a beer with [New Zealand captain] Brendon [McCullum] after the first Test and he spoke very highly of him. Everyone I’ve spoken to about him seems to rate him.
“He has experience in all forms of the game, he’s a successful coach. Everywhere he has gone he has been successful. His one-day record is very good as well so it will be interesting to hear his ideas.”
After enduring 35 innings without a Test hundred, Cook has since retaliated with centuries in successive matches, and is only 31 runs shy of former captain and mentor Graham Gooch’s all-time record of 8,900 in the game’s longest form. “It will be slightly strange if I do go past his record because without his hard work and dedication to me and my game, I wouldn’t have scored half the runs I have,” added Cook. “There will only ever be one Graham Gooch. He’s England’s greatest ever batsman.”