Cricket

Trevor Bayliss hoping Ian Bell will play on

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Trevor Bayliss admits England's 2015 Ashes winners still have improvements to make - and he hopes Ian Bell will stick around to help them.

The England coach was surprised to hear, as the cheers rang round The Oval after the 3-2 win over Australia, that 33-year-old Bell may be considering whether - following his fifth Ashes success - his international career is nearing an end.

Bayliss interpreted Bell's BBC interview, in which he spoke about "taking stock" before England's tough winter, as understandable but not necessarily significant musings in the moment of hard-earned victory.

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"He certainly hasn't said anything to me," said Bayliss.

"This series, on the back of a long summer, the emotional roller coaster is hard for the players.

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"I think at the back-end of a series like this, they can feel a bit down. Let's hope with the celebrations into the night, that changes."

England improvement

With or without Bell against Pakistan in the UAE, and then on to South Africa to take on the world's number one team, Bayliss acknowledged - after England had lost the fifth Investec Test by an innings - that they are far from the finished article.

"We've got a few areas we've got to be better in," he said.

"There's maybe a few positions in the team we can be stronger in.

"I'm sure all the players in the team will be doing their utmost to fill those 11 spots. But we need some depth as well to be successful over a sustained period."

Bayliss is optimistic but not adamant about England's prospects.

He said: "Certainly the winter tours to the UAE and South Africa are going to be very difficult.

"Any team playing away from home has struggled over the last few years... so we've got some hard work to do.

"But we've got some very good young players who, I think with experience, will be able to handle that pretty well."

International rally

Having joined the England cause only two weeks before the Ashes, the Australian cannot be sure about the broader talent pool available and is calling on aspirants to make themselves known through performance.

"I'm not exactly sure of the depth that is there," said Bayliss.

"I know we've got a lot of pace-bowling depth but I think from the point of view of spin bowling, and the next batters, it's an opportunity for players in county cricket to stand up.

"Those that score a hundred after a hundred, or those spin bowlers that take a lot of wickets, there are opportunities there.

"That's the message to any of those types of players in county cricket."

Bayliss insists opener Adam Lyth will "play again (for England)... at some stage", despite his poor form this summer, and sees all-rounder Moeen Ali as a "possible" replacement to partner Alastair Cook at the top of the order and so help accommodate a second spinner in the UAE.

In the meantime, England face a one-off Twenty20 and five one-day internationals against World Cup holders Australia, and are expected to announce a squad on Tuesday from which a clutch of familiar names may be missing.

"I would envisage over the next couple of series, there might be the odd player rested," Bayliss said of England's limited-overs plans.

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Topics:
Ian Bell
England cricket
Cricket
Australia cricket

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