Bayliss won’t write off Cook yet

Alastair Cook

England coach Trevor Bayliss feels that it is too early to write off opener Alastair Cook despite a lean winter down under.

Cook scored just 23 runs in New Zealand after an Ashes campaign where his stats were rescued by his double hundred in Melbourne.

Bayliss is eager for England’s top order to contribute more runs to the cause also asking for more from Mark Stoneman, James Vince and Dawid Malan.

Speaking after the series loss to New Zealand Bayliss said: “It would be dangerous to write off someone who’s scored 12,000 Test runs.

“He’s desperately disappointed he hasn’t contributed more but speaking to him in the sheds he’s still got a hunger for the game.

“He still wants to do well and thinks he’s got a role to play. We need someone of his experience and hopefully it won’t be long before he’s back in the groove.”

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Bayliss feels that England don’t enjoy the same strength in batting depth in Test matches as they do in ODIs.

He added: “Clearly there is a difference between the ODI and Test side.

“In the ODIs we’re trying to squeeze 15 or 16 players into the XI. But we’ve probably got three or four positions in the Test team still trying to make their way and prove to everyone that they are good enough to play at that level.”

The coach still has confidence in the men currently in the Test XI though, whom he feels have all shown potential but he backed Liam Livingstone and Ben Foakes to put pressure on those in the side.

He went on: “I think what they’ve all shown over this winter is that they are good players and they’ve scored some runs against quality opposition bowlers.

“But what we need from them is to be doing it more often. They’re averaging high 20s, we need them to get that up and hopefully put another 20 on that.

“They work as hard as anyone I’ve seen, and the other side of that is who do we replace them with? I guess this is a call-out to the guys in county cricket, the first five or six matches of the county season are very important.

“We’ve got (Liam) Livingstone and the other one I’ll add in who’s impressed in the nets is Ben Foakes. He’s batting very well also. So there’s a couple of guys in this squad who can hopefully score runs and put a bit of pressure on and make the selectors’ job difficult, which is what we all want.”