Cricket

England's Ashes batting a worry for Trevor Bayliss

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Head coach Trevor Bayliss has warned England's under-performing batsmen will come under the microscope after Australia levelled the Ashes with a dominant victory at Lord's.

After winning in the first Investec Test in Cardiff, England's bubble was burst in remarkable fashion at the Home of Cricket as the tourists claimed a 405-run victory.

On a pitch where Australia declared twice, the hosts buckled under examination in each innings, with England losing their first four wickets for 30 first time around and 48 on Sunday.

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Captain Alastair Cook made 96 in the first innings and is in no danger, but Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance and Ian Bell all appear vulnerable after contributing just two half-centuries between them in 12 attempts this series.

Jonny Bairstow, busy compiling a century for Yorkshire while England were bundled out for 103, is making a persuasive case for a recall and Bayliss did not deny that potential changes will be discussed when the selection panel meets on Tuesday to pick a team for the third Test at Edgbaston.

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"It's on the mind of anyone when the team is not playing like you would like, those things are always in the back of the coach's and selectors' minds," he said.

"There are some good players on the outside and we've got a selection meeting. I'm not going to speculate on what exactly will happen until Tuesday.

"Every innings we've been four for 30 or four for 40... I suppose that's always a concern.

"But what you've also got to do is give the players that are in there as much confidence as possible as well.

"They are obviously good players and the reason they are in the team is because they are thought of as the best players in England at the moment."

Bayliss, who has now seen the good, the bad and the ugly from his new side after taking charge a matter of days before the series, also weighed into the debate about English pitches.

There is a perception that the home team have ordered slow, low decks to negate Australia's pace attack, but Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood made a mockery of that theory by roundly outperforming their opposite numbers at Lord's.

Darren Lehmann appealed for more responsive tracks after the first Test and Bayliss echoed those sentiments this time.

"We've got no control over what the wickets are like, but certainly a flat wicket plays into the Australians' hands," said Bayliss.

"We want to win this series and for anyone to win a series you have to take 20 wickets per match.

"I think a flat wicket suits not only their batters but also the bowling attack they've got, more so than it does ours, so I'd like to see a wicket with more in it.

"That might make it more difficult for us to bat on it, but if we're able to take 20 wickets even if they take 20 wickets then we're still a chance of winning."

Johnson's display was symptomatic of Australia's return to form, the left-armer claiming six wickets in the match and at times calling to mind his destructive role in the 2013/14 whitewash Down Under.

Asked if England could stand up to an in-form Johnson, Bayliss added: "Well they did down in Cardiff, but he's a good bowler there's no denying that and he bowled pretty well in this match.

"Probably the one shot we didn't employ against him was the leave. But the players have got to work out an individual plan how they are going to bat and bowl against this opposition and then concentrate on that and worry about what they're doing, not anybody else."

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Topics:
The Ashes
Cricket

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