ENGLAND coach Trevor Bayliss has revealed Ashes places are still up for grabs with a new generation of top-order batsmen yet to nail down their places.
Mark Stoneman, Tom Westley and Dawid Malan played their part in the series victory over the West Indies, which was clinched by a nine-wicket win inside three days at Lord’s on Saturday, but questions remain over their readiness to face Australia in their own backyard.
They have shown they are good enough. But are they good enough for long enough? Are they tough enough, especially for an Ashes series?England head coach, Trevor Bayliss
However, Bayliss has indicated they remain in pole position, although the likes of Alex Hales, Keaton Jennings, Haseeb Hameed and Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance should not give up hope.
He said: “That’s the big question, whether the three guys we have been speaking about all summer have done enough.
“They have shown they are good enough. But are they good enough for long enough? Are they tough enough, especially for an Ashes series?
“We will be discussing other players we have had in the team over the last 12-18 months. They will get a hearing, but it will be hard to go past these three guys.”
Asked if the batting line-up for the Ashes tour had been decided, Bayliss replied: “Not 100 per cent, but I am sure when we sit down in a week or two to discuss that squad, we will be talking about batters that have played for us in the last 12 to 18 months.
“There are another two or three county matches to play, and that will be a factor too.
“I think our opposition in the Ashes is far from stable either.”
Westley and Stoneman are among a group of players who will now link up with their counties, but Alastair Cook and Jimmy Anderson will take a break.