Men’s Ashes: England v , fifth Specsavers Test
Venue: The Oval Dates: 12-16 September Start time: 11:00 BST
BBC coverage:

The fifth Ashes Test at The Oval is not only the final match of the series – it is also Trevor Bayliss’ last match as England head coach.

Appointed in 2015, Bayliss has seen England win their first men’s World Cup, rise to the top of the one-day rankings and win a home Ashes series.

However, England have had a mixed time in the Test arena and need to win at The Oval to draw this Ashes series 2-2.

Bayliss spoke to BBC correspondent Jonathan Agnew about the highs and lows of his four-year tenure as head coach.


n Bayliss was appointed England head coach in May 2015 and his first series in charge was that summer’s home Ashes against , which England won 3-2.

“The only way I could explain it [being an Aussie coaching against ] was it was like playing backyard growing up.

“You played with your mates and brothers in the backyard and it was dog eat dog, but when you’ve finished, or in between innings, you ran down the river and went for a swim or got on your bikes as best mates.

“But you played the game as hard and as tough as you possibly could do to get the bragging rights on those guys and it wasn’t really any different back then or even in this series.

“There’s some guys in the n team that I know really well. They’re trying to win the game for their team as much as they possibly can and I’d like the England boys to win as much as I possibly can as well.”


One of Bayliss’ focuses as head coach was to overhaul England’s white-ball team after the disastrous 2015 World Cup, which saw them dumped out in the group stages.

“It was very much a focus. Certainly when I spoke to [director of ] Andrew Strauss, the way England played in the 2015 World Cup wasn’t up to scratch and they wanted to turn that around, but Test was just as big a focus.

“It wasn’t as if we just pushed that to the background and said white-ball is the most important. We knew this was coming up, this summer, with a home World Cup and a home Ashes and we wanted to be in a position to win both.

“I said to my wife before I came back over for this summer, I’d love to win at least one of the trophies.”

England captain Eoin Morgan (left) and coach Trevor Bayliss (right) hold up the World Cup trophy

England won their first men’s World Cup in July in an enthralling game against New Zealand, which saw the trophy decided on the number of boundaries scored after a tied Super Over.

“What I thought of the next day was I didn’t actually realise how big a game or how good a game that was.

“When you’re actually involved in the game, you’re sort of thinking of tactics or what we could and should be doing, you’re not actually thinking of the entertainment value, what the fans are seeing.

“But waking up the next morning and seeing the reaction on my phone, and I probably got more messages in 24 hours than I get in a full year!

“The lap of honour at Lord’s, it was great to see the smiles not just on the faces of the players and the management staff, but the absolute joy on the faces of everyone in that crowd.

“It’s been great to be involved in a World Cup win, but it’s really the players that deserve the accolades. They’re the ones that have gone out and done the hard work. I think as a coaching staff and a management staff behind it, we’re lucky to be involved in it and play such a close role with the guys that have been able to go out and do it.”


Bayliss is often seen as a laid-back figure and has been criticised at times for what is perceived as a relaxed coaching style

“Sometimes it’s irked me a little bit when you see some of that sort of press because they just don’t know what goes on.

“I also allow the coaches we work with to do their jobs and talk to some of the players as well. It’s not as if we don’t get together and discuss each individual, how the team is playing, but as the batting coach or bowling coach, I let them get on and do their job.

“We get together and discuss what we might talk to the batters or bowlers about but it’s the one message.”


England have had an inconsistent time in Test over the past four years – they have not lost a home Test series since 2014 but they were thrashed 4-0 in the Ashes in and have been bowled out cheaply in New Zealand and the West Indies.

“The question England have got to answer is, the wickets that we play on in four-day – are they doing the job well enough so that the players coming through are better prepared to actually play at the next level?

“There are a lot of good coaches and administrators at the county level. You talk to them, they’ve got exactly the same concerns as we have here working with England.

“There are a lot of talented players right throughout the first and second division of county . What sort of conditions have we got to play in and how can we make it better?

“They’re the questions I think have got to be answered.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here