In Pakistan’s first innings, #England’s bowlers had been criticised often for bowling relatively wide of the stumps, despite having the pace and skill in their attack. Steven Finn bowled well in the first innings without reward and he must have had a sinking feeling in his heart. Recalled due to the injury of Ben Stokes, he must have felt that he needed to prove himself once again, like he has done so often in his career. Even in parts of the final day, despite bowling astonishingly well, the wicket just wouldn’t come. Yet, like all sporting fairytales, Misbah feathered a ball to Jonny Bairstow and Finn got his just deserts. His display on the final day deserved that and no man will be more pleased than Trevor Bayliss. Another one of his key decisions has come to fruition.
Trevor’s calmness provides the players with freedom
Over the past year, the English #Cricket team has seen a magnificent transformation after its failure in the 2015 World Cup. An Ashes win, a test series victory in South Africa and a run to the World T20 final this year have all been highlights in a stellar year. At the helm of that transformation is the Australian Bayliss. His ability to motivate his players and make them perform cannot be understated. One cannot miss the feel good factor around England training camps all around the world, regardless of the format. Steven Finn himself has made this point very clear over the past year. He has not had the most fruitful of summers, but Trevor has been able to provide him with enough inspiration in order for him to perform his best. England fans will hope that this ability of Trevor can continue for a while longer, at least the 2019 World Cup on their home patch.
Coaches have a great relationship with the players
Before Trevor Bayliss came at the helm, Paul Farbrace was, and still is, a key member of the coaching staff. He took over as a caretaker coach for the New Zealand series last summer. In that test series, England began to play with an apparent free spirit in their game. Fantastic entertainment for fans who went to ground and felt they had got their money’s worth. It was clear that Farbrace has a very good relation with the players. Add Ottis Gibson, Mark Ramprakash and Chris Taylor, you have a world class coaching lineup. The way they interact with the players and say things at the right time is invaluable. Just before the Old Trafford test, with the admission of Joe Root himself, Mark challenged his mental state in batting after some relative failures. First innings comes around and Joe makes one of the finest innings ever by an Englishman, 254*. That just highlights the genius involved.
Trust and honesty instills confidence in players
Before the beginning of this test match, two players were particularly under the microscope. Steven Finn for the obvious reason of his comeback and Moeen Ali. Ali’s batting has come under heavy criticism throughout this series because of his approach. His graceful strokes are sometimes overshadowed by his apparent lacklustre dismissals. That natural way of playing makes his first innings all the more impressive. He knew his side were in trouble and was able to make 63 in difficult circumstances. Then in the second innings, his 86* gave England the ability to attack with the ball to try and win. That belief given to the players makes sure that they do not look over their shoulders all the time. This gives them the best chance to perform at their best.
As England look to win the series at the Oval, it is likely that their coaching staff will make all the right decisions again.