Head coach Trevor Bayliss has defended England’s collections throughout the Ashes series and insists captain Joe Root is”under no stress whatsoever” despite the side’s failure to recover the urn.
Defeat at Old Trafford on Sunday gave a 2-1 lead in the series to Australia and guaranteed they retain the Ashes in England for first time since 2001.
With England fighting, there has been criticism of the selectors’ decision to persevere through the series but Bayliss argued the teams picked might have been 3-0 up following the first three Tests.
“I have been very pleased with the selections,” he explained. “The very first thing you have got to say is’who is going to come ?’ That’s one point.
“Following three Tests in this series, either team might have been up 3-0 I thought. We had our chances when they were 120-8 at the very first Test, next Test we ended on the game was a draw and the next Test, Australia might have won that and the first two as I mentioned, it might have been 3-0 possibly way.
“If you consider it that way, we can’t have got the selections too erroneous.”
Although Bayliss maintains fluctuations were considered england have kept faith with the same group of players to the fifth Test at The Oval.
“Yes, it was definitely discussed but over the previous three or four decades, among the things we have talked about is that we really need to give everybody a chance to show themselves,” he added.
“I believe I have said before, offer them one too many games rather than not enough. You may see some changes throughout the winter but a few of the guys looked like they had been hoping to do the right things and actually gutsed it out that previous day [in Old Trafford] so we’ve decided to offer them a second chance.”
Bayliss does not anticipate a reversal of captain following the Ashes despite forecasts for Root to step down to allow him to focus on his batting.
“He has not come under any questions from anybody making any decisions so he’s under no pressure in any way,” Bayliss said.
“Everybody goes through phases where they may not score as many runs as they would like. I think he has been bowled to by that the group.
“Let us see how things proceed down the line but from my standpoint he is our premier batter and knowing the Australian manner, they always attempt to target the opposition captain. He is batted well on occasions through this series when he’s got a start. I really don’t see too many problems really.”
See the fifth Test between England and Australia from 10am, Thursday on Sky Sports The Ashes.
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