Trevor Bayliss admitted he “didn’t have the answer” to England’s Ashes struggles, but insisted he was still the man to take the team forward.
Bayliss, England coach since 2015, accepted England had been “outplayed” and that senior players “hadn’t done as well as they would have liked.”
But while he accepted England had struggled overseas – they have no lost their last seven away Tests and their last eight in Australia – he pointed to England’s success at home as proof of the progress the team has been making.
“We’ve played extremely well during the English summer,” Bayliss said. “But in conditions away from home that don’t necessarily suit us, we need to be better and we need to get more experience. We’ve just got to get better, whether it’s with the bat or the ball, especially in foreign conditions.
“I think I’m the right man to lead the team forward. I think our performances have been pretty good over the last couple of years. We won every series during the English summer.
“But it’s for people above my pay grade to make the decision about my future, so we’ll leave it up to them.”
Accepting that senior players had underperformed – Alastair Cook is averaging 13.83 with the bat in the series and Stuart Broad 61.80 with the ball; Moeen Ali is averaging 19.33 with the bat and 105.33 with the ball – Bayliss suggested there will be few changes before the end of the series.
“I haven’t given any thought whatsoever to making changes,” he said. “We’ll have to see how these last couple of games in the series go.“There are a few guys disappointed with how they have gone and guys who haven’t done as well as they would have liked. As for Alastair Cook he has played the game for long enough and will know when it’s time to go.
“I wish I knew why they have underperformed. But they know the consequences of not playing well. They are all extremely good international cricketers and I expect them to come back from this. But you need to have guys putting their name up in lights to take over.”A key point of difference between the teams was, Bayliss felt, the pace of the Australian attack. While they were able to extract steep bounce form each surface, the England attack sought lateral movement that they could rarely find. As a result, they had few weapons with which to make inroads into the Australian batting.“The Australian bowling attack has been fantastic,” Bayliss said. “With a little bit of extra pace you have a few more things up your sleeve, especially on wickets that haven’t got a lot of sideways movement in them.
All credit to them, they’ve played well and deserved a win.