England head coach Trevor Bayliss insists he will not quit despite losing the Ashes at the earliest opportunity following a third consecutive resounding Test defeat.
Australia reclaimed the urn on Monday, winning the match at the Waca in Perth by an innings and 41 runs to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
England failed to make the hosts bat again, losing their last six wickets for just 86 runs as Australia beat them on home soil for a record-equalling eighth Test in a row.
A repeat of the whitewashes witnessed in two of the last three tours, which cost predecessors Duncan Fletcher and Andy Flower their jobs, is now a real danger, but Bayliss believes he is still the best man to helm England’s long-term recovery.
“Well I think I am,” said the Australian, who led England to the Ashes upon taking over in 2015 and has overseen improvement in shorter formats but has now lost 17 and won 15 of 35 Tests.
“You may not, but I think our performances have gone pretty well over the last couple of years. That’s for people above my pay grade to make that decision. So we’ll leave it up to them.”
Defeat in the last Test match to be played at the Waca followed losses by 120 runs in Adelaide and by 10 wickets in the Brisbane opener in which England only rarely hinted at victory.
Captain Joe Root agreed with Bayliss that the tourists had simply been “outplayed” but urged them to take stock and show fight in the remaining matches in Melbourne and Sydney.
“I don’t think these three games are a fair reflection of how we have played and what we’re capable of. I think we need to do ourselves and the supporters back home justice,” Root said.
“I am sure the next day or so will be pretty tough, but we have got a bit of time now to get right for Melbourne and make sure our minds are fully on putting in a really strong performance and showing the character we have.”
Root also called for patience in assessing the futures of senior trio Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
England’s all-time leading run-scorer Cook, 32, averages just 14 in the current series; Broad, 31 has taken only five wickets and registered 0-142 in the third Test; while Anderson will turn 37 during the next Ashes in summer 2019.
“They have been in situations where things haven’t gone for them before and that’s why they have played so many games,” said Root.
“It’s important we don’t panic and make hasty decisions. [Cook has] done it so many times before and he’s a very stubborn guy who likes proving people wrong. The amount of extra work he is putting in behind the scenes tells me he is desperate to keep going.”