Joe Root hopes the reputation and achievements of new coach Trevor Bayliss can soon start rubbing off on England’s national side.
With Bayliss set to take charge formally ahead of this summer’s Ashes, England enter a new era of sorts, given the 52-year-old will be the first Australian at the helm.
This is not a factor on Root’s mind, however, as he points instead to Bayliss’s ability to bring the best out of teams, most notably with the likes of Sri Lanka, New South Wales and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Speaking before England’s second Test against New Zealand at Headingley, Root said: “He’s got a great reputation – wherever he’s gone in the world he’s had great success.
“Hopefully he can bring that to England cricket as well.
“I think (nine) of the (Australia) squad he’s worked with before in New South Wales so that obviously will be a slight advantage.
“More than anything, it’s just pleasing to see or be able to get the chance to work with someone who’s worked in international cricket and domestic cricket.”
England will be huge favourites to clinch the ongoing Test series 2-0, after the Lord’s Test was wrapped up in dramatic fashion earlier this week. New heroes emerged for England in Ben Stokes and Mark Wood, the former clubbing the quickest Test century at Lord’s, even as captain Alastair Cook rolled back the years with a century under immense pressure.
Root is confident Stokes will continue to deliver for England after his match-winning exploits at Lord’s.
The 23-year-old has had mixed fortunes, and headlines, since first grabbing the attention of England supporters with a maiden century in his second Test against Australia in Perth almost 18 months ago.
But after sharing a crucial counter-attacking stand with him in England’s first innings last week, and then watching as Stokes smashed Lord’s fastest century second time round, Root is convinced there is much more in the locker.
The England vice-captain, just five months older than Stokes, senses his team-mate is “growing up” and will be able to deal with the extra attention sure to come his way.
“He will be fine,” said Root. “The thing about Ben is, every time he pulls on the shirt he gives absolutely everything. I don’t think that is going to change.”
Stokes relishes the thick of the action and England appear to have concluded they will get the best out of him by putting him centre stage whenever possible.
Root added: “When he is bowling, he will run in until he barely can’t move any more – if he is given that choice.
“When he is batting, he is a free spirit; he goes and plays his shots and puts sides under pressure.
“In the field, he is dynamic, he can field anywhere.
“He is one of those blokes you want in the side because he rubs off on you and gives everything.”
It was Root and Stokes’s partnership of 161 – after England had faltered to 30-4 – which first gave Cook’s team a foothold in the first Test.
As they seek to make it 2-0 at Headingley, starting tomorrow, Root would not mind another chance to bat with the powerful left-hander.