Trevor Bayliss
Trevor Bayliss (Getty Images)

England coach Trevor Bayliss is a happy man after his team’s series win against No. 1 ranked India in the ongoing five-match series. England clinched a 3-1 series win after beating India in the fourth Test in Southampton by 60 runs.

Bayliss said the knocking India off is at the same level as beating Australia in Ashes. “It is right up there with beating Australia in the Ashes,” Bayliss was quoted as saying by PTI on Monday. “Obviously India are a very good team, the number one team, and to knock them off is a very good feeling.”

England have more than one reason to savour the win consider the manner in which they overcame difficult situations. They were 86/6 on Day 1 from which they went on to score 246 in their first innings. Then, with India cruising along in their first dig at 142/2, they reduced them to 195/8. Again, they were under the pump as they aimed for setting a stiff target for India on Day 3 but their lower order again rescued them to safety.

“There were some difficult conditions especially on day one. We have said before, under a bit of pressure these guys have got a bit of character which is a good sign going forward,” the Australian said.

Even though England are basking the glory of their latest triumph, they are troubled by few problems of their own. They need to look for a replacement for the retiring Alastair Cook and settle on a solid, dependable opening pair ahead of the upcoming series against Sri Lanka and West Indies.

Also, they have to sort their top order, especially the batting position of captain Joe Root who has been forced to bat at No. 3 instead of his preferred No. 4 spot. England experimented with sending allrounder Moeen Ali at no. 3 during the second innings in Southampton that allowed Root the comfort of his favoured position.

But Bayliss feels that flexibility is the keyword and Root might have to make some sacrifice for the good of the team. “Joe has always said he wants to bat at four. He understood where I was coming from that if we had a number three averaging 50 to allow him to bat at four, that would be handy. But I thought it was for the best of the team he batted at three.

“Hopefully we can find someone who can do a decent job at number three and he can bat where he feels most comfortable. All credit to him. He has taken that role on with no problems. He has taken one for the team in that respect.”

On the future of veteran fast-bowling duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, Bayliss said a call for their selection for the future tours will be taken after assessing their fitness and workload.

“We will get together after this Test and see who is fit and available. We will definitely want to win the last Test, and I see a future with them (Anderson-Broad) at the moment.

“They are the most successful pace bowlers in this series and it will go down to how their bodies are feeling. We spoke before the series if their bodies would double up in close Test matches. So we will have to wait and see how they are in 48 hours’ time.

“The numbers of Tests we have played this year have been spread out. There is another reasonable gap until we play the Tests in Sri Lanka. There is a bigger gap again and then another couple of months leading in to the West Indies. Them only playing Test cricket does give them a bit of a break,” he said.