For the first time in its history, the England cricket team will have an Australian at its helm, but not necessarily the one everybody was expecting.
After the ECB announced that it will be Trevor Bayliss, not Jason Gillespie, that will take over from Peter Moores as head coach in all forms of the game, a lot of people may have scratched their heads and asked: who?
While for many connected with the game the 52-year-old’s appointment is the right one, there may be understandable concerns from fans who may not have heard of somebody that only played 58 first-class games for New South Wales.
Although his playing career may not have turned heads, his coaching one certainly has.
Bayliss has had success wherever he has worked, starting with a Sheffield Shield victory at New South Wales in 2005 through to T20 honours with both the Kolkata Knight Riders and Sydney Sixers more recently.
A coach proficient in all forms of the game, Bayliss is seen as the ideal candidate to maintain England’s success in Test cricket, while drastically improving their performances in both T20 and, more importantly, ODIs.
The New South Welshman has coached internationally before too, having held the top position with Sri Lanka between 2007 and 2011. In that time, he helped lift the team to number two in the Test rankings, while making trips to both the World Cup final in 2011 and the World T20 final two years prior.
One of the keys to his time with the Sri Lankans was his ability to develop young players in the side, which will be a central part of his role with England.
With a new side still learning their way in the international game at his disposal, Bayliss will be targeting success for a number of years with a hungry and talented crop of players.
His first assignment couldn’t be more pressurised: winning back the Ashes at a price of 3/1 after the humiliation of a whitewash last winter.
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