Joe Root’s batting and inspired fast bowling by James Anderson, Steven Finn, Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes have taken the headlines but the role of coach Trevor Bayliss should not be under-estimated.
The 52-year-old took over just before the series against his countrymen after England drew 1-1 with New Zealand and immediately stamped his mark on a young team.
“Trevor Bayliss has been very good — he’s been very calm and only speaks when something needs to be said,” Broad told reporters after England’s heavy defeat in the final test at the Oval on Sunday.
Bayliss, formerly coach of Sri Lanka, masterminded three emphatic wins but also watched his side suffer two punishing losses.
“These guys have got a lot of ability and they played some fantastic cricket,” Bayliss said.
“We’ve got some very good players. There will be some tough times but there will be more good times than bad.
“The majority of this team are very young and inexperienced, but if they keep heading in the right direction there are some good times ahead.
“We seem to have gelled pretty well — it’s a great feeling to get off the mark with a win.”
Meticulous, tactically astute and keen to allow his players to express themselves, Bayliss has been delighted with the younger members of his team.
Root scored two fine centuries and Stokes produced an inspired spell of bowling to take six wickets in Australia’s second innings at Trent Bridge.
“We don’t want to put too much expectation on him and say he’s going to be the next Ian Botham or the next Andrew Flintoff,” Bayliss said, referring to England’s finest two all-rounders of recent years.
“He’ll be the next Ben Stokes,” Bayliss added. “Certainly, his batting is right up there. With his bowling, he could be another Jimmy Anderson.
“To have that rolled up in one player is a good thing for English cricket and on top of that he’s probably the best fielder in the team as well.”
Bayliss is keeping his feet on the ground ahead of England’s next test series, against Pakistan in the United Emirates starting in October.
“They’ve got some things to work on, there are some negatives there,” he said.
The main selection issue is finding a reliable opening partner for captain Alastair Cook after Adam Lyth failed to pass fifty in five Ashes tests.
One option would be to promote Moeen Ali to the top of the order, freeing up a place for leg-spinner Adil Rashid in the team.
“In the UAE we will play two spinners,” Bayliss said. “We’ve got a few thoughts on that.”
(Editing by Mark Meadows)