Joe Root’s position as England captain is not under threat, according to outgoing coach Trevor Bayliss.
Root’s captaincy has been questioned from outside the England camp during the Ashes series, with Australia retaining the Ashes with one Test to spare thanks to their 185-run win at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The 28-year-old was appointed Test skipper following Alastair Cook’s resignation in 2017, but England have struggled to find their best form in the longest form of the game under the Yorkshireman’s leadership.
Despite the fate of the Ashes being already decided, Bayliss – who oversaw England’s rise to dominance in one-day cricket and will leave his post at the end of the series – insists Root is not under scrutiny.
“He hasn’t come under any questions from anyone making any decisions so he is under no pressure at all,” Bayliss told a news conference ahead of the final Test at The Oval.
“Everyone goes through periods where they might not score quite as many runs as they would like. I think the Australian team have bowled pretty well to him.
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“Let’s see how things go further down the line, but from my point of view he’s our premier batter and knowing the Australian way, they always try and target the opposition captain.
“He’s batted well on occasions through this series when he’s got a start. I don’t see too many problems really.”
In spite of calls for a shake-up to the Test side, England have named an unchanged squad for the final match, and Bayliss believes the selection policy throughout the series has been correct.
“I’ve been quite happy with the selections,” he said. “The first thing you’ve got to say is, ‘Who else is going to come in?’. That’s one point.
“After three Tests in this series, either team could have been up 3-0 I thought. We had our chances when they were 120-8 in the first Test, second Test we finished on top and the game was a draw and the third Test, Australia could have won that and the first two so, as I said, it could have been 3-0 either way.
“If you think about it that way, we can’t have got the selections too wrong.”