Batsmen to blame, not pitches: Bayliss
England coach cites inability of batsmen to adjust to conditions as key reason for short Ashes series
AAP & Cricket Network
25 August 2015, 02:12 PM AEST
Trevor Bayliss says the batting of Australia and England, rather than the pitches used in the UK this summer, is largely responsible for the shortest Ashes series in history.
On Monday, outgoing Australia captain Michael Clarke implored curators around the globe to "have the courage" to produce pitches that see results on the fifth day after an Ashes series that lasted just 18 days.
Quick Single: Clarke urges curators to be courageous
Not one of the five Ashes Tests played this UK summer entered the fifth day, making it the shortest five-Test series in the history of the game.
The first two wickets in Cardiff and at Lord's were slammed as being too batsmen-friendly, while the wickets at Edgbaston, Trent Bridge and The Oval had a thick covering of grass that favoured the bowlers.
Clarke said the pitches had a lot to do with the short Tests, but Bayliss disagreed.
"The wicket didn't change out there in 10 minutes from one innings to the next and it certainly didn't change in an hour-and-a-half at Trent Bridge either," Bayliss said.
"Every game we played, there was someone who scored runs on it and other guys made starts.
"It is different to what these guys are used to.
"The batters just have to learn to fight a little bit harder on these kind of wickets."
Clarke said criticism of the pitches used in Cardiff and at Lord's, which were slow and low, led to overcompensation from the curators at the remaining Test venues.
Clarke reflects on the Ashes, looks to the future
"I think Test cricket is a five-day battle," he said. "I want to see good and fair cricket for both batters and bowlers.
"I think that's the way the game should be played – and, most importantly, I want to see a winner and a loser.
"But if the groundsman feels he knows how to produce a good wicket that will be a great battle of Test match cricket then I'd like to see them back themselves and go with that and not be persuaded by what's said in the media or what the commentators say."
Clarke added it was the fans who suffered the most in this series, with seven days of possible cricket lost.
"Cardiff and Lord's, we did see some really good cricket. I'm not saying the wickets were fantastic – don't get me wrong – but we've seen a winner and a loser over four days," Clarke said.
"I think the past three Test matches have not been that case.
"People have tickets for today to watch a whole day's play and tomorrow, and the same (occurred) for Edgbaston and Nottingham.
"The fans of the game deserve to see a really good contest for five days."
But Bayliss felt a pitch that was guaranteed to last five days wasn't always the answer, saying balance was the key.
Where the Ashes were won and lost
"To watch batters belting the ball everywhere, to me that's not what Test cricket is about," Bayliss said.
"It's about a contest between bat and ball.
"For the fans, long term that is what everyone is looking for, they're looking for an even contest.
"The more players play on wickets with a little bit in them, the better they will get on those wickets."