Flat Lord’s wicket played into Australia’s hands: England coach

London, July 20 (IANS) After crashing to a 405-run defeat against Australia in the second Ashes Test, England coach Trevor Bayliss blamed the pitch for the defeat, saying the flat wicket at Lord’s “played into Australians’ hands”.

Australia thrashed England at the Lord’s cricket ground on Sunday to square the five-match series 1-1. England were bowled out on Sunday for 103 in their second innings in less than three hours of a spectacular batting collapse.

“We’ve got no control over what the wickets are like, but certainly a flat wicket plays into the Australians’ hands,” Bayliss was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Monday.

The coach also said he hoped to have livelier wickets for the rest of the series.

“I think a flat wicket suits not only their (Australia’s) batters but also the bowling attack they’ve got more so than it does ours. So I’d like to see a wicket with more in it. That might make it more difficult for us to bat on it, but of we’re able to take 20 wickets even if they take 20 wickets then we’re still a chance of winning,” he said.

Bayliss’s comments came after captain Alastair Cook bemoaned the alien condition of the pitches produced so far.

“We want to play on English wickets, and (the Lord’s pitch) probably wasn’t too English,” Cook said after play on Sunday.

Opener Adam Lyth and veteran number four batsman Ian Bell are under scrutiny after the match following their batting failure. But Bayliss has defended them.

“When the team is not playing like you would like, those things (making changes) are always in the back of the coach’s and selectors’ minds,” Bayliss said.

“But what you’ve also got to do is give the players that are in there as much confidence as possible as well. They are obviously good players and the reason they are in the team is because they are thought of as the best players in England at the moment.”

Bayliss, who formally took over the England coaching job barely a week before the Ashes began this month, claimed that he and his players might have spent too much of their time and energy leading into the Lord’s Test fretting over how the Australians might hit back.

“We knew Australia would come back hard at us and maybe we didn’t concentrate on what we were doing like we did in Cardiff,” he said.

“So I think going forward to the next game that we get back into that mode and just worry about what we’re doing.”

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