England in South Africa 2015-16 February 22, 2016

'Potential never won anything' - Bayliss

ESPNcricinfo staff
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England's batting spluttered towards the end of the tour before a final meltdown © Getty Images

Trevor Bayliss, the England coach, has called for the team to play smarter cricket following the poor end to their tour of South Africa as they turn attentions to the World T20 in India. However, he does not want the players to go into their shells after a difficult couple of weeks, saying that the winner in India will be the "boldest" team on show.

England ended their stay in South Africa with a crushing nine-wicket defeat at the Wanderers to lose the T20 series 2-0. From a promising position of 157 for 3 - with Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler finding their range - they were well placed for 200, but conspired to lose 7 for 14 and not even play out their overs.

They were then belted around the Bullring by AB de Villiers who cartwheeled to 71 off 29 balls as South Africa raced to their target with more than five overs to spare.

It led to Bayliss saying it was like "men against boys" and meant that England finished with five defeats on the bounce having been 2-0 up in the one-day series before being let down by poor fielding when they could have sealed it in the Johannesburg ODI. Although the Test series was secured on that heady day at the Wanderers when Stuart Broad blew South Africa away the tour ended on a downbeat note.

There is little time to ponder with just a short break at home before departing for India where they will face group matches against West Indies, Sri Lanka, a qualifier and, potentially significantly given recent results, South Africa again in Mumbai on March 18. Faf du Plessis, the South Africa T20 captain, was not shy at suggesting his side could have struck some psychological blows.

"I can guarantee you one thing, the team that wins the World Twenty20 will be the boldest team there," Bayliss said.

"If we go out and try to be too nice, or if we give that advantage away or are not as positive and aggressive as we have been when we have played well and won, then we will still not win - because there will be teams out there with the confidence, players and ability to go out and play that way."

The two series defeats in South Africa have zapped some of the feel-good factor that had developed around England's white-ball teams since their post-World Cup rebuilding which has been forged on an almost breakable desire to be positive and for players to be encouraged to push their own boundaries.

Both Bayliss and Morgan have cited the inexperience in the side as a factor as to why the wheels came off somewhat in South Africa and cautioned that more such days cannot be ruled out as players continue to find their feet at international level. But the straight-talking Bayliss knows that platitudes about how good a team could be does not help in the present.

"We've had some good results, but it's a reminder to people back home in England that this team is still a developing one," he said. "We've had some good performances, and there's a lot of potential there.

"But potential never won anything ... we've got some hard work to do. I think the expectation the players have put on themselves is why they are so disappointed when they play badly. It may be that extra pressure they put on themselves that they've got to get over."

In the final ODI at Newlands and the first T20 at the same ground, England were criticised for not adjusting quickly enough to conditions and reassessing what a defendable total could be.

"We spoke the other night, it is a case of going with the flow of the game," Bayliss said. "If we get off to a good start, you have to recognise that flow [and think] 'can we continue to do this'?

"If we do happen to lose a few wickets ... well, has the flow of the game changed, and do we have to play a little bit differently? I think that will be playing smart cricket, and that is what the good teams will do."

Still, despite the setback, Bayliss believes that England can put on a good show in India which will conclude a long period overseas for the team this winter.

"If we play well ... we'll be hard to beat. In the last two games, we haven't played all that well - and in this game, we've been beaten easily. We're going to have to play a lot better than that."

"It's small margins," he added. "One catch, and we'd have only lost the last four - and we'd have won the one-day series. That's as simple as it can get. You win that fourth match, who knows ... it might have given the boys enough confidence to go on and win the fifth one. We've got to learn from that, and work out how we can get better."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ProteaMan on February 28, 2016, 16:21 GMT

    I think England had too much confidence in their abilities after the test series win. Over confidence is a very dangerous thing and can bite you damn sore. Then they start losing confidence, dropped a few crustal catches and slowly but surely the wheels just came off. Like any sport, "95% is mental and the other half physical" Forgot the name of the American guy who said that.

    Now for the arrogant Ausies with their bad manners!!

  • Lerato H Nyelele Mjoli on February 26, 2016, 22:34 GMT

    Wow 3-0 wow.....in centurion England had 0 percent chance of beating sa so let's leave it there

  • fidlerrralbert on February 25, 2016, 18:45 GMT

    dsa; u say simply was proven wrong abut Morgan and u were right but simplies fact about the averages looks like that it is actually u that wrong? i may be bear with little brain but i'm getting more and more confused by dsa's posts which don't seem true, i think simply is right here

  • simplythebest... on February 25, 2016, 17:52 GMT

    @D.S.A. I assume your 'plenty' is markbrop, but my no-one is D.S.A? This really is getting pathetic as it usually does with you. LOL.

  • simplythebest... on February 25, 2016, 17:50 GMT

    @D.S.A. I realise ABD is a bigger talent than Morgan, and Morgan will probably say that himself, but if I am to approach this debate from the same direction as you then I need to look purely at stats and nothing else! lol. In this case ABD averages 23.49 in T20I's at a SR of 128.88 with a high score of 79* (the game against England). Whereas Morgan averages 30.29 at a SR of 133.16 and a high score of 85*.

  • D.S.A on February 25, 2016, 17:11 GMT

    @simply: Where's the stats on Morgan? Oh, that's right...your stats on Morgan are...to provide stats on Pietersen, lol. Well done! That's clever... Schoolboy error! "Oh dear, you really don't do yourself any favours on this site!". You were proven wrong about Morgan, and I was proven right, yet you still can't admit it. Pathetic! Good luck finding people that look at rankings to justify their points, other than yourself, lol. Hilarious. Funnily enough, plenty actually agree with what I've said, but I've not seen anyone say they agree with anything you say, so in actual fact, "Does anyone take you seriously any more? I don't think so". Hahaha! Find a mirror, and ask yourself these ridiculous notions you pebbly try to associate with me.

  • simplythebest... on February 25, 2016, 17:06 GMT

    @D.S.A. I realise ABD is a bigger talent than Morgan, and Morgan will probably say that himself, but if I am to approach this debate from the same direction as you then I need to look purely at stats and nothing else! lol. In this case ABD averages 23.49 in T20I's at a SR of 128.88 with a high score of 79* (the game against England). Whereas Morgan averages 30.29 at a SR of 133.16 and a high score of 85*.

  • simplythebest... on February 25, 2016, 15:20 GMT

    @D.S.A. If ''KP finishes the PSL with an average of 26.87 from 9 innings'' isn't a stat, then what is it??! LOL. Oh dear, you really don't do yourself any favours on this site! Regarding Morgan, you hear what you want to hear and see what you want to see, and the rest is ignored. Not a very wise idea to write off numerous genuine cricket fans by saying ''No reasonable fan looks at rankings and takes it seriously'' either... Does anyone take you seriously any more? I don't think so.

  • D.S.A on February 25, 2016, 14:27 GMT

    @simply: Haha. A "ticking off"...yet I'm still posting! Amazing!... Did you realise that you didn't actually use any stats? No reference to your captain Morgan, and his averages, strike rates, across different competitions, lol. What were you saying about credibility? Lol. Is the best you have to justify his spot is the use of rankings? Lol. No reasonable fan looks at rankings and takes it seriously, but seeing as you do, what you are saying is that: as Morgan is ranked higher than de Villiers, Morgan is therefore SUPERIOR to de Villiers! Haha. What were you saying about knowledge? Good luck supporting that idea...and rankings still have validity in your mind? Lol. "As usual your knowledge and credibility is zero, lol!".

  • simplythebest... on February 24, 2016, 13:47 GMT

    @D.S.A. Was wondering when you'd show up again after your ticking off from dezzydezdezer - he put it better than I could! As to Bopara, I don't think I've ever been derogatory of him and I too would have liked him in the WT20 squad. Just thought I'd prove that you're not the only one that is capable of manipulating stats to suit yourself, lol! I'm not aware that my previous post made any specific reference to Morgan but since you raised it - Morgan is no.10 in the ICC T20 world rankings and before you pull out any of your excuses, this is an extract from the ICC website as to how they calculate the ratings - For a batsman, the factors are: 1) Runs scored 2) Ratings of the opposing bowling attack; the higher the combined ratings of the attack, the more value is given to the batsman's innings (in proportion). At 10 he is higher than ABDeV who up till recently has batted at the same position as Morgan. As usual your knowledge and credibility is zero, lol!

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