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Trevor Bayliss considers changes to England line-up ahead of third Test

Trevor Bayliss considers changes to England line-up ahead of third Test

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Trevor Bayliss considers changes to England line-up ahead of third Test

Bayliss name-checked Mark Stoneman, Tom Westley and Haseeb Hameed as possible alternatives.

England coach Trevor Bayliss will consider changes to England’s unconvincing top order for the Oval Test, but has indicated Keaton Jennings’ position remains safe.

Bayliss joined the critics of his own team after their alarming 340-run defeat against South Africa by describing the performance, in Joe Root’s second Test as captain, as a “shocker”.

After England’s trouncing at Trent Bridge, he also quickly turned his attention to what can and should be done in terms of selection for next week’s third Test of four in an Investec series currently level at 1-1.

Jennings, who made a century on debut in Mumbai last winter, has mustered only 44 runs in four Test innings so far this summer – including scores of nought and three in Nottingham.

Pondering his continued inclusion – and that of Gary Ballance at number three – or whether to look elsewhere, Bayliss name-checked uncapped pair Mark Stoneman and Tom Westley as well as Haseeb Hameed as possible alternatives.

He acknowledged the quandary of whether to stick with new players if they begin to run out of form, as so many have during England’s quest for an opener alongside Alastair Cook – who has had 11 partners at the start of the innings since the retirement of Andrew Strauss five years ago.

Many of those contenders pre-date the Bayliss era, which began in 2015.

“All of those guys have been picked because they’ve done well in county cricket,” he said. “They probably started off well and have then fallen away a little. So that’s a concern, obviously.”

Mark Stoneman could be in line for an England Test debut
Mark Stoneman could be in line for an England Test debut (Steven Paston/PA)

The established policy is to make sure all new selections are given a fair amount of time – seven Tests seems the benchmark – to demonstrate whether or not they are up to Test cricket.

But after six defeats in England’s last eight Tests, that luxury has become questionable.

“One of the things we’ve tried to do since I’ve come in is try to give those guys a bit longer to show what they have got,” added Bayliss. “It still hasn’t worked, to be honest.

“Keaton, for example, at the top of the order … if we’re consistent with our selections, he should get some more goes.”

England will name their squad for The Oval later this week, with all-rounder Liam Dawson’s position probably the most vulnerable – ahead of any of the specialist batsmen, even after the hosts were bowled out twice in only 96.1 overs in their latest failed attempt against a high-quality touring attack.

“The last selection meeting we had before this series started, players like Stoneman and Westley were spoken about at length,” said Bayliss.

“Obviously, (so was) Hameed – who is a little out of form this year. So those types of guys, they are on the edge.”

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