Bayliss ready to 'step up' in dressing room

Trevor Bayliss has suggested he will take a more prominent role in the England dressing room over the final two Tests of the series against India

George Dobell
George Dobell
Trevor Bayliss and Alastair Cook have a chat in the shade, Dubai, October 3, 2015

Trevor Bayliss said he will take a more active role in encouraging England to bat positively  •  Getty Images

Trevor Bayliss has suggested he will take a more prominent role in the England dressing room over the final two Tests of the series against India.
Bayliss, England's head coach, has generally been happy to leave team talks to the captain, Alastair Cook. But he is concerned by what he sees as England's passive cricket in the last couple of Tests and is keen to encourage the batsmen to play what he sees as the "positive" cricket they demonstrated at the start of the series.
While it would be stretching a point to suggest that minor change of approach indicates a rift with Cook, it does seem fair to conclude that Bayliss wants to make certain the team are in no doubt about the way he wants them to play.
England scored at well over three an over in the drawn match Rajkot (3.36 in the first innings and 3.44 in the second). But then, in the second innings of the second Test in Visakhapatnam, Cook set the tone by taking 50 overs to put on an opening stand of 75 with Haseeb Hameed as England attempted to bat for the best part of five sessions to seal a draw.
But Bayliss clearly feels most of the team's batsmen are at their best when they are given a clear license to attack and suggested that some indecision had led to their failures in the Mohali Test.
"The first three innings of this series we had a nice positive approach to the game and with our mental approach," Bayliss said. "Probably the last three innings we have got away from that a little bit.
"If you look at the batters who scored runs in the first three innings of the Test series they were proactive, trying to be positive which means they will defend well. When the opportunity comes we leave and defend well but when opportunity comes along to attack we take them.
"In the last three innings we have changed that mindset so it is more along the lines of survival. And when some of our naturally more positive players try to play that way they were in two minds.
"I thought in the last innings of the last Test we gifted them some wickets when I thought we looked to be in two minds. We looked like we were trying to go over the top once or twice but did not really go through with it which meant we were in two minds over whether it was right approach or not.
"The message to the guys in last two Tests will be to approach it a bit more like we did in the first Test and maybe the first innings of the second Test when Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes got together. That is how they played and it suits the way we played. If you do that it gives you opportunity to put pressure on the opposition. If you don't do that they put pressure on you, which is what happened in the last two Tests."
Asked whether the captain would be passing that message on to the team, Bayliss replied: "It will be up to me to play a role there. Probably over the last few series Cooky has taken on more of a role there, which has been great. But I think for the coming couple of Tests it is time I stepped up to the mark to just remind them of how we have played when we have played well."
Bayliss also admitted he had never seen Keaton Jennings bat, but will encourage him to play his own way if, as expected, he opens the batting in the fourth Test.
"I've not seen him bat," Bayliss said. "I saw Haseeb Hameed bat once, when he got 50, but I have not seen Jennings at all.
"It was said the two openers play a defensive role. I don't see that. To me if they play their natural game they are being positive. If that means they have not got quite as many shots as the other guys that does not mean they are not playing positively. If each individual does that in their own way then it gives you the best opportunity to score runs. The same message will be to Keaton as well. You have been successful playing in a particular way there is no reason to change that."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo