Bayliss defends Root’s decision to bowl


England coach Trevor Bayliss defended Joe Root’s decision to bowl first in the second Ashes Test even though the tourists are well behind after two days played at the Adelaide Oval.

Root won the toss on the first morning and sent Australia in to bat on a dry surface that several former players said they would take first strike on.

The Aussies piled on 442/8 thanks to a Shaun Marsh century with England toiling in the field with the pink ball for 149 overs. The visitors were 29/1 at stumps as the initiative firmly with the hosts.

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Asked if Root had any regrets about his decision at the toss, Bayliss said: “He wouldn’t do anything different. It’s well documented that one of our challenges is taking wickets on flatter wickets.

“Joe wanted to give our guys the best opportunity to take 20 wickets. On this occasion it didn’t work out – it’s just the game of cricket.”

The England mentor also defended his bowlers who couldn’t take advantage of a swinging ball and surface that was doing enough for them to make inroads.

Bayliss also backed his batsmen to show the same grit and determination that the home team did in the first innings.

The Australia-born Bayliss said: “On that wicket, the bowlers we’ve got are more than capable of taking wickets and creating chances.

“I thought we did that over the last day or two but it just didn’t go our way on this occasion. Some days it goes your way, some days it doesn’t.

“It might have evened it up from Trent Bridge two years ago when they nicked everything [and were bowled out for 60]. We have to put up with it, not let it frustrate us, and go out and try even harder.

“The bowlers we’ve got are the bowlers we’ve got – there’s no point hoping someone else is going to come along with the click of our fingers. We have to make the best we can out of it.

“It’s a good feeling in the dressing room, [the players] are not disheartened at all. Shaun showed it’s not impossible to score runs out there and a lot of their batters made starts.

“It’s up to one or two of our guys to go out and make a big score, not just 40 or 50. We’re here to win, not make up the numbers. That means batting all day tomorrow and well into the fourth day.”