England coach Trevor Bayliss has defended Joe Root’s decision to bowl first in Adelaide despite Australia’s dominant start to the Test match.
A Shaun Marsh century and contributions from Tim Paine, Usman Khawaja, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and David Warner helped Australia pass 400 in the first innings.
In the final session of day two, Australia reduced England to 29-1 with the hosts still trailing by 413 runs going into the third day’s play.
Asked about Root’s controversial decision to put Australia into bat, Bayliss told BT Sport: ‘I was very happy with his decision.
‘It’s well documented that we’ve struggled to take wickets on flat pitches and Joe wanted to give our bowlers the best opportunity to take 20 wickets in the match.
‘We went past the bat a lot, that’s the game. On another day it could have been a completely different story but that’s gone now so we need to focus on batting.
‘We’ve got a good environment, everyone is enjoying themselves so I’m confident we will give a good account of ourselves tomorrow.’
England’s bowlers have toiled away since arriving Down Under but lack the pace of their Australian counterparts. One man who gave bowl in excess of 90mph is Mark Wood, who is currently with Andy Flower’s Lions squad.
Asked whether he was considering calling Wood up to the main squad ahead of the third Test in Perth, Bayliss said: ‘We’ve not actually spoken about it.
‘We wanted to see him play in the Lions first. We haven’t spoken to him or Andy to see how he is. Before we contemplate that he has to show his fitness.’
Australia century-maker Marsh, meanwhile, said of his team’s performance: ‘It was a good day for us. The way Paine and Cummins batted was fantastic. Hopefully we can take some early wickets tomorrow.’