Birmingham, July 31 (IANS) Former Australian batsman and present national selector Mark Waugh believes England’s remarkable turnaround in the Ashes series that has seen them rebound from a thumping to the brink of triumph in two days of cricket could owe much to their Australian coach Trevor Bayliss.
Waugh on Friday said he had been caught by surprise at England’s resurgence at Edgbaston after the “absolute hiding we gave them at Lord’s”.
“I thought once we won at Lord’s we would push on and win the series quite comfortably,” Waugh was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“But England, you’ve got to give credit to them, they’ve bounced back really well in this Test. I think Trevor Bayliss, our Australian coach, may have had an impact on the side there. (Bayliss played his part in) may be with their thought processes and the way they’ve played the game.”
Waugh said while the see-saw nature of the series had made compelling viewing, Australia’s batsmen had plenty to ponder after two below-par innings in the third Test.
“We’ve been a little bit off with our bowling, but mainly our batting hasn’t coped with the swing bowling,” Waugh said.
“Every player has got to think about their own game and how they can improve. After two Tests on flat, lifeless pitches widely seen as designed to nullify the effect of Australia’s pace battery, Edgbaston has delivered a more typical England seamer that has found Australia wanting,” the 50-year-old added.
“Every batsman has got to look at how they were dismissed and just think about it for the rest of the series.”
Waugh added that if Australia’s not-out batsmen Peter Nevill and Mitchell Starc, plus bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon, could somehow extend Australia’s slender 23-run lead to around the 150 mark the tourists remained in the hunt.
The former right-handed batsman, who scored 8029 runs in 128 Tests, still believes it is going to be a close series.
“This game is still not over and then there’s two more Tests. It’s going to be tight, it’s a very even series. We’ve got the strike power with the ball and the class with the bat; we’ve got to still think we can win this series,” he said.