Saturday, 19 August, 2017

Series win doesn't mask problems: Bayliss

Jonny Bairstow's 99 leads England to a first-innings total of 362 in the 4th South Africa Test Jonny Bairstow's 99 leads England to a first-innings total of 362 in the 4th South Africa Test
Bennie Garza | 10 August, 2017, 20:25

England wrapped up an emphatic Test series win over South Africa with another grandstand finish from Moeen Ali, but head coach Trevor Bayliss warned a 3-1 scoreline would not "paper over the cracks" in their batting.

South Africa slumped to heavy 177-run defeat on day four of the fourth and final test against England at Old Trafford in Manchester yesterday.

With his brilliance with the bat and with the ball, Ali inked his name well past some of the greatest in the game to become the first ever cricketer to score over 250 runs and take more than 25 wickets in a four-match series.

Chasing an nearly fanciful 380 runs to win, the Proteas were dismissed for 202 as seamer James Anderson joined Moeen in the wicket-taking stakes by claiming 3-16 at Old Trafford - his home ground.

England now climb to third in the International Cricket Council's Test rankings, above Australia.

Yes, he's got some things to work on - he knows that and he's working hard in the nets.

England began its time under new captain Joe Root with a long-awaited home series win over the Proteas, which had defied England in England since 1998.

It does, however, auger well that England have been able to beat the South Africans, ranked the number two Test side in the world, convincingly in three of the four matches given they still have work to do. Prior to losing the Test series against England, they were also defeated by the latter in ODI and T20 series. Duminy was dropped after the first Test at Lord's, De Kock took over in the second and third Tests with Bavuma getting that chance in the final match of the series.

Ali took ten wickets in England's 211-run win in the first Test at Lord's and never looked back.

The margin of victory was crushing in the end, but there was a period when Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis looked like they could lead South Africa to an unlikely chase of 380.

"I'm a big believer that, if you see that in somebody you give them responsibility to bring the best out in them", said Du Plessis. "But I just want that last wicket, I don't care who gets it", said the 35-year-old.

"This series I have felt more consistent with bat and ball, especially ball".

Stuart Broad went for five and Jimmy Anderson just two, leaving Ali stranded unbeaten on 75 from just 66 balls. "You often think he's not going to take wickets on the day and then you look up and he's got three or four, he's just brilliant and a real unsafe batter. He has stood out, but everyone has contributed and made it a really good series".

"I think it's dependent on the conditions", du Plessis said.

Bayliss also rejected the notion that it would be a blow to lose Ottis Gibson so close to the Ashes - the bowling coach is widely expected to replace Russell Domingo for the top job with South Africa.

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