Bayliss backs Stokes

Despite the last-over stigma in the World T20 final, England head coach insists the all-rounder will bowl again in similar conditions
Bayliss backs Stokes
England chief coach Trevor Bayliss


England chief coach Trevor Bayliss does not feel Ben Stokes is weak-kneed to fall apart after the drubbing he received at the hands of the West Indian Carlos Brathwaite.
In fact, Bayliss backed Stokes to bowl the last over again in a World Twenty20 final if he got a chance to do it. However, the coach does not want Stokes to continue his verbal spats with opponents, even though he did not win the battle against Marlon Samuels on Sunday. 
Bayliss was reacting to Samuels’ claim that Stokes is a “nervous laddie” in high-pressure situations and he supported his team man when he said. “Stokesy is one of those blokes — if we had a game tomorrow he’d put his hand up to bowl the last over again. No one is blaming Stokesy for anything. He’s the heart and soul of this team. If everyone put in half as much as he does, we’d go a long way.” The England team were yet to come to terms with what happened at the World T20 final, in which Brathwaite snatched the title away from England in a matter of five minutes. Stokes was almost in tears as he sunk to his haunches.
But do not forget Stuart Broad was hit for six sixes in an over by India’s Yuvraj Singh during the World T20 in 2007 and is now ranked No 1 bowler in the world. Samuels was fined 30 per cent of his match fee for abusive conduct towards Stokes. They have history going back to when Samuels mockingly saluted Stokes after he was out during a Test in the Caribbean last year. 
Samuels was the winner because he was parading the trophy and Man of the Match award. But Bayliss thinks Stokes is right to get involved in the odd spat. 
He said: “I think Stokes is one of those players that feeds off it. It’s what turns him on, gets his juices flowing and makes him as good as he is. He’s not the only one around the world. There are a number of other players who do the same thing — create their own controversy to psyche themselves up. “It doesn’t matter whether he is batting, bowling or fielding, he gives you 100 per cent and leaves nothing in the tank. “I definitely wouldn’t describe Stokesy as a nervous player. The more of those type of cricketers we can produce, the better for England cricket.” 
However, Bayliss said the West Indies batsmen were the best in the “power-hitting” business. “I don’t think there’s anything that we did wrong. It was just some fantastic hitting in the last over. Someone has to do something remarkable to do that. He’s done it for them at no 8. The hitting power they got right down is probably strongest in world cricket which is tailor-made for this format of the game,” Bayliss said.
Bayliss felt England fell short in batting as the struggled early on to put up 155/9. “I thought we probably little bit short with the batting. The character and the effort they put to come back we knew we were in if we took some early wickets to put pressure on their team. We saw how they were under pressure in some of the other games chasing low totals. We thought that was our best chance and we got off to a great start, all credit to the boys.” 
In their defence, England captain gave the ball to Joe Root in the second over in a masterstroke as the part-time off-spinner accounted for the prized sclaps of Johnson Charles (1) and Chris Gayle (4). “Gayle sometimes does not like facing the off-spinners early. It was just to see what happens and we could not have asked for a better over,” said Bayliss. 
England can now look forward to more success after the gains in India and the next one is a home three-Test series against Sri Lanka. 
He added: “I’ve had so many texts and emails already saying people are talking about cricket, it’s back in people’s minds. I think that support will carry into the players. It’s important they keep their heads in the game and don’t think it is just going to happen without working hard and improving.”

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