Ashes 2017-18: Trevor Bayliss backs captain Joe Root’s bowl-first decision
Joe Root became the first captain to win the toss and opt to bowl first in a day-night Test during the second Ashes 2017-18 Test match between Australia and England in Adelaide.cricket Updated: Dec 03, 2017 17:32 IST
England coach Trevor Bayliss backed Joe Root’s decision to bowl first in the day-night Ashes Test after Australia ended day two in a position of strength. (HIGHLIGHTS)
Root became the first captain to win the toss and opt to bowl first in a day-night Test, with an even first day in Adelaide giving way to a Sunday of dominance for the hosts.
Shaun Marsh scored an unbeaten 126 as Australia declared at 442-8, the bowlers then reducing England to 29-1 before rain intervened.
Root’s bold call has drawn some parallels with Nasser Hussain’s disastrous bowl-first decision in Brisbane 15 years ago, but Bayliss believes luck was all that prevented the tactic from being an inspired one.
“Very happy with his decision,” Bayliss told BT Sport. “It’s a well-documented fact that we’ve struggled to take wickets on flat ones and Joe wanted to give our bowlers the best opportunity to take 20 wickets in the match.
“Before the first rain break [on Saturday], I thought we were a little bit short but we came out after that and I thought we bowled pretty well yesterday. We went past the bat a lot, but that’s the game. We’ve got to put up with that.
“On another day, an extra two or three nicks, it might have been a completely different story. That’s gone now and we’ve got to concentrate on our batting tomorrow.”
England’s third failure of the series to bowl out their opponents has been largely attributed to a lack of pace in the attack. Mitchell Starc’s 90mph opening delivery to open the England dig on Sunday was the quickest of the Test match.
Bayliss was quizzed specifically on the prospect of calling up Mark Wood, capable of bowling such paces but wracked by injuries for the better part of two years.
“We haven’t actually spoken about it apart from the fact that we wanted to see him play in the Lions,” Bayliss said of Wood, who took 1-64 for the Lions against Queensland last week.
“He’s come through a match for the Lions when were up in Brisbane ourselves, I haven’t spoken to him after the game or to Andy Flower to see how he’s pulled up.
“First of all, before we contemplate [calling him up], he’s got to show his fitness, but also his match fitness as well.”