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'We are not here to make up the numbers' - Bayliss

Jake Ball has recovered from his ankle injury Getty Images

Trevor Bayliss has provided the clearest hint yet that Jake Ball has earned the final spot in England's XI for the Brisbane Test.

While Ball has bowled only 22 first-class deliveries on the tour - he sprained his ankle early in the Adelaide warm-up game and was subsequently deemed unfit to play in Townsville - Bayliss is content he has now proved his fitness and suggested he had done enough to win selection ahead of Craig Overton.

Ball bowled 15 overs at full pace on Saturday. And, while England's bowlers claimed only one wicket in the entire day on a slow Townsville pitch, Ball bowled Moeen Ali within a few minutes on the same surface in a practice session that followed the game.

"I thought Ball was our best bowler in Perth and he started off that way again in Adelaide too," Bayliss said. "He's fine now. He bowled on Friday and got through a few spells in the nets today [Saturday]. He should be fit and raring to go for Brisbane.

"Is it Ball v Overton for selection? I see it just like that, yes. Ball is fine now. He's fully fit and will be available for selection. I'm pretty close to knowing the XI in my mind, yes."

Bayliss insisted he was not overly concerned by England's lack of penetration on the final day in Townsville, instead crediting some fine batting from the two Cricket Australia XI centurions and a flat surface that offered bowlers little. He also suggested England's batsmen had failed to fully capitalise on it the previous day.

"We are always a bit disappointed when we don't take 10 for 90, but the wicket was very flat," he said. "And those two young guys batted very well. There were two young guys out there that batted very, very well. All credit to them. They looked good. It's good for Australian cricket.

"If you play cricket long enough those days will happen. They stuck at it and that's all you can ask.

"We lost a few wickets at the end of that first innings and probably should have scored a few more runs. From the bowling point of view, we tried a few different things, but I'm sure in the Test matches we'll be back bowling line and length.

"It's not really damaging to us before the first Test. It was good to spend some time in the field. We will probably have another one or two of them in the Test matches. It was probably good to experience it and the heat as well."

Although the surfaces and the opposition have left England short of experience against the sort of pace anticipated in the Test series, Bayliss considered himself satisfied with their progress.

"Over the three games we have got as much out of it as we possibly could," he said. "We started slow, then built it up over the last couple of games. A Test match - an Ashes Test - will see our intensity rise as high as it possibly can.

"A number of guys spent time in the middle with the bat and the bowlers got a lot of overs under their belts. Hopefully everyone now has got their rhythms right and they can come out next week and go from ball one.

"Mark Stoneman has been our most consistent batsman. He looks like he's made for this. He's tough and nuggety and likes to get on with it when he gets the opportunity."

Bayliss also admitted a couple of selections in the Australian squad had surprised him. But while he was respectful of the opposition - conceding he was close to several members of the Australian team - he made it clear friendships will be put to one side.

"There were one or two names in there we maybe weren't expecting," he said. "But they are all good players. No matter who Australia pick, they will be good players and we will have to play well to win.

"Australia, whether batting or bowling, like to hit the opposition hard early. And we have been talking about going hard ourselves. We are not here to make up the numbers. We are here to win.

"I do know some of the guys in the opposition team, but I'm sure they fully respect that I've got a job to do. I liken it to playing backyard cricket years ago against your brothers and your best mates. It was full on in the backyard, but you walked away mates. I'm sure the same will occur after the five Tests.

"We've played some good Test cricket over the last few years. There has been the odd game where we haven't performed, but we're very confident, and have played very well against Australia for the last few years."