Bayliss backing England to match West Indies for power and pace
The coach is not a fan of Sheldon Cottrell’s celebration.
Trevor Bayliss believes England and the West Indies are evenly matched for six hitters and fast bowlers but hopes their World Cup clash ends with a home celebration rather than a Sheldon Cottrell salute.
England are expecting to be at full tilt at the Hampshire Bowl on Friday, with Jos Buttler back in training after a hip injury prevented him keeping wicket against Bangladesh and Moeen Ali available following the safe arrival of his baby daughter.
They may well need to be to see off a Caribbean team who are among the only sides on the circuit who can match the hosts for ball-striking power and 90mph pace options.
England had to settle for a 2-2 draw in the one-day leg of their winter tour this year and Bayliss is expecting another ding-dong battle.
“They’ve surprised a lot of people over the last few weeks here but we weren’t surprised having played them recently,” he said.
“We saw that in the West Indies, it was tit for tat in terms of the number of sixes. It didn’t matter which team batted first the other team would come out and hit the ball just as far or just as often over the fence.
“They’ve got some good fast bowlers too. We’ve got a couple as well. I am sure the West Indies will be the same – not just bowling quickly but putting the ball in the right areas and putting pressure on the batters.
“It will be an interesting contest and I’m sure both teams will be striving just to get that little bit of an edge and make it count.”
One area where England do find themselves outmatched is on-field exuberance. The likes of Chris Gayle and Andre Russell are experienced showmen as well as dangerous cricketers, but even they have been left in the shade by left-arm seamer Cottrell’s theatrical military celebration.
England have seen their fair share of it in recent months – five times in Barbados alone – and Bayliss would happily see the back of it.
“It probably p***** me off more than anyone else,” he said with a smile.
“If you’re older than about 40 years old it p***** you off but every team has their way of celebrating and I’m sure other teams might not like the way we celebrate.
“It’s a young man’s game. If it gets a bit of a laugh or a smile on people’s faces, so be it.”
England concerns over Buttler have eased over the last 48 hours, with the in-form vice-captain not thought to be at risk of aggravating his right hip complaint.
A tendency to err towards caution with one of their prized assets has to be balanced against the need to get points on the board and Bayliss is optimistic.
“It was a little bit precautionary the other day,” he said.
“We’ll see how he pulls up and how he performs at practice. I’m expecting him to play a full part.”
Moeen will also come back into the conversation after being dropped in a horses-for-courses selection last time out in Cardiff.
He is ready to play after being excused training on Wednesday, spending time with his newest family member, baby Haadiya.
“We have played two spinners here in the past. If we go with a second spinner it will be Mo who comes back in,” confirmed Bayliss, putting Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett’s places on alert.
The Australian, who leaves his post in September, also gave a brief update on his career plans following the Ashes.
Asked if he would fill in on an interim basis should his replacement not yet be in place, he said: “It might depend if I’ve anything else on.
“There are a few things possibly in the pipeline in franchise cricket.”