England coach Trevor Bayliss insists Joe Root remains at ease with his decision to bowl first even though Australia’s batsmen have since put the tourists in trouble in the second Test.
Shaun Marsh’s unbeaten 126 from No 6 helped Australia to 442-8 on day two, allowing Steve Smith to declare just when batting was about to become more difficult again under the Adelaide Oval lights.
England were then doubtless relieved to see heavy drizzle return and restrict their reply to just 9.1 overs, in which they lost Mark Stoneman out of 29-1.
And despite many pundits querying Root’s decision on the morning of day one to insert the Australians, Bayliss spelled out that the Yorkshireman would make the same marginal call again if he had chance to do so.
“He wouldn’t do anything different,” said the Australian.
“It’s well-documented that one of our challenges is taking wickets on flatter pitches, so Joe wanted to give our guys the best opportunity to take 20 wickets.
“It wasn’t an easy decision. It wasn’t taken lightly. We bowled pretty well, and didn’t get the results we deserved.”
Bayliss was left wondering if England were suffering a little payback for the 2015 Trent Bridge Test, in which everything went perfectly as Stuart Broad took a brilliant 8-15 as Australia were bowled out for 60.
“That’s the game of cricket,” he said. “It might have evened it up from Trent Bridge two years ago, when they nicked everything.”
England are lacking a genuine pace bowler to compare with Australia’s Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, and are hoping Mark Wood may be able to prove his fitness in next week’s tour match in Perth, to possibly become a mid-series addition.
It’s well-documented that one of our challenges is taking wickets on flatter pitches, so Joe wanted to give our guys the best opportunity to take 20 wickets. It wasn’t an easy decision. It wasn’t taken lightly.England coach, Trevor Bayliss
Nonetheless, Bayliss added: “The bowlers we’ve got are more than capable of creating chances, which I thought we did. There’s no use wishing that someone else is going to come, with a click of the fingers. That’s all we’ve got.”
There has been further sledging between the players in Adelaide, with Bayliss admitting it is not a side of modern cricket which especially pleases him.
“I’d like to see the (stump) microphones turned down – I don’t think that’s necessarily a (good) thing for young kids watching,” said Bayliss. “But it’s grown men, playing a very competitive sport, and sometimes those emotions boil over.”
“It’s just red-blooded young males competing against each other, (and) most of the time it’s fairly light-hearted.”