Melbourne — England coach Trevor Bayliss is concerned by his batsmen’s tendency to collapse and says starts will need to be converted into centuries if the touring side are to win the Ashes series against Australia.
England’s batsmen are yet to score a hundred in their first two warm-up games since arriving in Australia but cruised to a 192-run win over a weak Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide.
Yet in a worrying sign for England, the match also witnessed the Ashes holders lose four wickets for three runs and seven wickets for 47 during the second innings.
"Sixties aren’t enough," Australian Bayliss said on Sunday. "We need 160s.
"Batting collapses have been a concern for us for a little while. We have games like that where we lose wickets like that, and it is a concern.
"The batsmen realise they have got to do better and they are working hard to do that."
England’s batsmen will have another opportunity to get some big runs under their belt in the final warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI in Townsville, in far northern Queensland state, from Wednesday before the first Test at Brisbane’s Gabba from November 23.
"By all accounts, the wicket in Townsville is a pretty good one. It’s quite flat," Bayliss said.
"Hopefully that will help our batters make some big scores. Not just spend time in the middle, but make 100s. That’s definitely what we will need throughout this Test series.
"It would be great if we could have some hundreds, that’s for sure. Obviously, once the Test series comes around, the intensity of that competition, hopefully that really kicks our batters into gear."
Former captain Alastair Cook’s lean tour has continued with scores of 15 and 32 in Adelaide after a duck in Perth in the first warm-up match, but Bayliss said he was not too concerned about Cook. "It’s probably fair to say he always looks a bit rusty. He’d be the first to admit that."