Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Aaron Finch scores his nine ton against England in the first ODI

Aaron Finch scores his nine ton against England in the first ODI

After recovering from a viral illness Joe Root is set to play for England.

Had Bayliss not been brought in with the 2019 World Cup so strongly in mind, with that marquee competition being played on English soil, a witch-hunt might already have burned him at the stake. "I'm sure he will rest up and try and get his energy back".

England are scheduled to play five one-day internationals against Australia followed by a Twenty20 tri-series with the hosts and New Zealand which starts on 3 February. The last one year has been a successful one for England in the ODIs while Australia have struggled in the 50-over game winning only five games last year. But to bridge the gap between where we were at in that World Cup and, say, being in the semi-final or the final was the first port of the call.

"He thinks if he keeps missing all the T20 cricket he's just going to fall behind and not be up to speed when those come along". Andrew Strauss, our director of cricket, gave absolute clarity in what we wanted. "It's not often you get free rein and ambition to be as adventurous as you like".

For what it is worth too, I stand by my initial belief that England should not have appointed Bayliss in the first place and that they made a decision to recruit the wrong Australian.

That confidence sat underneath Morgan's response when queried on an Australian side his men were able to beat comfortably when they last met during the 2017 Champions Trophy, albeit with Ben Stokes as a key part of the outcome.

Their only options, if they were to sack him, would be to do so at the end of this winter (to do so next summer would surely be a risk too far in respect of those World Cup aspirations) or else go down the split coaching route and have a separate head of the Test team, a path that the governing body are understood to be reluctant to take.

With the baton handed over to Eoin Morgan for the one-day Internationals, the lacklustre Test tour can turn into somewhat crackerjack of a contest in the coloured clothing.

Asked if they might enjoy better results than their Test colleagues, he said: "I hope not".

"I know they had a hard run with weather in the Champions Trophy, they didn't even complete a full game against us, and certainly that was a struggle for them". "TB has been brilliant", England's limited-overs captain said. "We've certainly tempered our aggression with some smart cricket", he said.

In other words, the European Central Bank are effectively hoping to bumble along with Bayliss until that glorious moment when - all being well - he lifts the World Cup and rides off into the sunset, main mission accomplished. More importantly, the wickets that we've played on, we've adapted to them.

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