Bayliss urges England to embrace WC favourites tag


England coach Trevor Bayliss says his team must embrace the tag of favourites for next year’s World Cup, which will be played in the UK.

Eoin Morgan’s team have just inflicted Australia’s heaviest ODI series loss in Australia, with the tourists running away to a four-one win in the five-match series.

England have transformed their white-ball cricket since the 2015 World Cup – when they embarrassingly went out in group stages –  with a dynamic attacking approach.

The have won 10 out of their last 12 bilateral series and have lost just three ODIs out of 22 in the past year, which does include a defeat in the Champions Trophy semi-final against Pakistan.

Bayliss has now challenged his players to embrace the favourites for next year’s the World Cup, especially since it will be played in front of their own fans.

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The England mentor said: “The way we have been playing one-day cricket over the last few years and the way we continue to play, and obviously with the World Cup at home, we should be one of the favourites.

“Only time will tell how we handle that but, if we go in to all of the series between now and that World Cup thinking we are favourites, then that will be good practice for us and we will see how the players react.”

England’s results in the 50-over format in Australia was even more impressive considering that allrounder Ben Stokes was missing due to him being charged with affray after his arrest in Bristol in September.

Stokes might not get back into the team straight away, according to Bayliss, as Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales and Jason Roy all took turns too impress against the Aussies.

Bayliss said of Stokes’ return: “It is a good problem and he might not fit back in straight away.

“I do know that everyone knows he is coming back in the team at some stage and that keeps everyone on their toes trying to score runs and put their name forward to make sure they are not the ones who get pushed aside when he comes back.

“We have had a very stable team over the last couple of years. We have had one or two different guys coming in and the good thing is that we have got competition for spots.

“It is not just the 11. It is 14, 15, 16 guys that can come into the team and play a part. That’s very healthy for the team.”