Trevor Bayliss defends England's Ashes selections despite failure to regain the urn
Head coach also insists captain Joe Root is "under no pressure at all"
Last Updated: 10/09/19 5:22pm
Head coach Trevor Bayliss has defended England's selections during the Ashes series and insists captain Joe Root is "under no pressure at all" despite the side's failure to regain the urn.
Defeat at Old Trafford on Sunday gave Australia a 2-1 lead in the series and ensured they retain the Ashes in England for the first time since 2001.
With England's top-order struggling, there has been criticism of the selectors' decision to persevere with the same batting personnel throughout the series but Bayliss argued the teams picked could have been 3-0 up after the first three Tests.
"I've been quite happy with the selections," he said. "The first thing you've got to say is 'who else is going to come in?' That's one point.
"After three Tests in this series, either team could have been up 3-0 I thought. We had our chances when they were 120-8 in the first Test, second Test we finished on top and the game was a draw and the third Test, Australia could have won that and the first two so, as I said, it could have been 3-0 either way.
"If you think about it that way, we can't have got the selections too wrong."
England have again kept faith with the same group of players for the fifth Test at The Oval although Bayliss says changes were considered.
"Yes, it was certainly discussed but over the last three or four years, one of the things we've spoken about is that we really want to give everyone an opportunity to prove themselves," he added.
"I think I've said before, give them one too many games rather than not enough. You might see some changes through the winter but a few of the guys looked like they were trying to do the right things and really gutsed it out on that last day [at Old Trafford] so we've decided to give them another opportunity."
However, Bayliss does not expect a change of captain following the Ashes despite calls for Root to step down to allow him to focus on his batting.
"He hasn't come under any questions from anyone making any decisions so he is under no pressure at all," Bayliss said.
"Everyone goes through periods where they might not score quite as many runs as they would like. I think the Australian team have bowled pretty well to him.
"Let's see how things go further down the line but from my point of view he's our premier batter and knowing the Australian way, they always try and target the opposition captain. He's batted well on occasions through this series when he's got a start. I don't see too many problems really."
Watch the fifth Test between England and Australia from 10am, Thursday on Sky Sports The Ashes.