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Trevor Bayliss

'He's under no pressure' – Bayliss backs Root to take England forward

England news

Trevor Bayliss, who will be in charge of the England side for the last time in the fifth Ashes Test, has backed under-fire captain Joe Root to drive the team forward as they attempt to emulate their white-ball success in Test cricket.

Root has led England in 32 Tests so far, winning 16 and losing 13. In the past year, they've been defeated in the West Indies, rolled over for 85 in the first innings at Lord's against Ireland, and allowed Australia to retain the Ashes with a 2-1 lead going into the final match of the series.

Root himself has suffered a drop in form, averaging 40.87 as captain as against his career average of 48.03. In the past year, his average is just 31.18, with two hundreds in 22 innings. Given the team's batting woes, he's been unsettled with his own place in the line-up, forced to give up his preferred No.4 position and play at No.3.

This has led to calls for him to step down as captain. The player himself has insisted he's the right man for the job, and the coach backed that assessment, claiming that Root had the full support of the management.

"He's not come under question from anyone making any decisions," Bayliss said on Tuesday, 10 September. "He's under no pressure at all.

"Everyone goes through periods where they don't score as many runs as they'd like. I think the Australian team have bowled pretty well to him, so we'll see how things go further down the line.

"From my point of view, he was our premier batter and the Australians always try and target the opposition captain. He's played well when he's got starts and I don't see too many problems."

Video cwc19 08 Jun 19
CWC 19: Joe Root feature

Bayliss believes that Root's big challenge now will be to wrest the Ashes urn with a series win in Australia, but knows that is easier said than done. England, although they are the world champions in one-day cricket, don't have a world-beating Test side, he admitted. 

"Sometimes you can only be as good as the players you've actually got in the team. We're probably still looking for a number of players to make that XI as strong as it possibly can be," he said. "[Root] is doing everything he possibly can to make that right.

"He's getting better all the time. And some of the guys he's got with him are going be important: people like Ben Stokes. Those two guys going forward are in a good position. Right now I can't see too many others that would suit the job. But those two together can take this team forward."

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