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Bayliss expects IPL stars to hit ground running

Trevor Bayliss, England's head coach, says he is unconcerned at the prospect of the team's IPL players being overworked ahead of next month's Champions Trophy, and expects them to be ready for international action when the South Africa ODI series gets underway later this month.

Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler are due to link up with the England squad for a training camp in Spain on May 14, ten days out from the first ODI against South Africa at Headingley, having been in regular action through this year's IPL. Stokes in particular caught the eye with his matchwinning 63-ball century for Rising Pune Supergiant against Gujarat Lions last month.

And Bayliss believes that, in the long-term developmental interests of the England team, the opportunity that these players have had to mix with the best players in the world and compete in front of daily full houses is worth the risks of fatigue that come with playing and travelling in such an intense itinerary.

"That is a risk we have taken with a long-term view," he said. "They have gone out there and competed in that tough environment, because in the long term that would be good for us. There was a concern, yes, that a few of them would have had a rest, but we took the view that, long-term, it would good for them."

Bayliss himself knows all about the demands of IPL competition, having coached Kolkata Knight Riders (Woakes' current franchise) to the title in 2012 and 2014. And while the prospect of 4am flights remains an uninviting offshoot of the travel schedule, he believes the itinerary is less intense this year than it has been in the past.

"I think this year was a little bit shorter. The ones I've been to were a bit longer, 9 or 10 weeks. I think because of the international programme, they have shortened it up a bit to squeeze it in. The three boys who are still there have all been playing pretty well, playing a part for their team. We certainly haven't heard any negatives coming back from there."

In the absence of Stokes, Woakes and Buttler, England took the opportunity to test their reserves in the two ODIs against Ireland, and Jonny Bairstow in particular impressed with an unbeaten 72 from 44 balls in the second match at Lord's. However, Bayliss warned that he would still struggle to force his way into the starting XI for the Champions Trophy.

"We've played some pretty good cricket without him in the team," he said. "It will be difficult. It could depend on the combination we go in with - how many bowlers we go into a match with, and that will get down to the type of wicket we play on and the opposition.

"Some of the wickets we are going to play on are possibly going to be new wickets," he added, "so we will just have to get there and wait and see what the wickets are like before we make any decisions on whether we go in with one spinner or two spinners."

With five wins out of five in all ODIs since the tour of West Indies in March, England are building a good head of steam ahead of a tournament for which they are currently favourites. But Bayliss knows that keeping up that record of achievement will be crucial as they prepare to test their mettle against another of the tournament big guns, and for that reason he is confident that all three IPL players will be fit and ready for selection.

"Our goal, or aim, for the South Africa series is to win it," he said. "We want to go into the Champions Trophy having won every game if possible, but take the confidence from winning into the Champions Trophy. We'll make that decision when we have seen them but I would have thought they will be fine and raring to go."