Trevor Bayliss feels England’s methods during his tenure as head coach over the last four years have been vindicated by them winning the World Cup for the first time in their history.
England ended 44 years of hurt at Lord’s in the most dramatic of circumstances, defeating New Zealand in the final by virtue of registering more boundaries as the teams finished level in both the match and then after a super over.
While heartbreaking for the Kiwis, England capped off their one-day international transformation under the axis of Bayliss and captain Eoin Morgan by hoisting aloft their first global 50-over trophy.
A mantra of aggressive cricket has been at the heart of their resurgence, leading them to the top of the ODI rankings, though there have been some setbacks along the way, including some startling batting collapses.
But reflecting on England’s triumph at a celebration event at The Oval on Monday, Bayliss said: “It’s terribly exciting and it’s justification for the way we went about it over the last four years.
“At different times we copped a little bit of criticism because of the way we went about it but we had an end goal in mind and this is the result. We’ve stuck to our plans and the way we wanted to play.
“It’s justification for a lot of hard work by a lot of people, not just the 11 guys out there in the field but everyone else that’s played for us in the last four years and also the backroom staff, it’s been a fantastic effort.
“To see the joy on the boys’ faces after the game, and the way they celebrated in the dressing room, was all worth it.”
Bayliss joined the England camp a few months on from a dismal 2015 World Cup, in which they were eliminated in humiliating fashion at the group stage.
The Australian, hired largely because of his expertise and experience in the limited-overs formats, admitted he was initially uncertain about England’s prospects of glory when he first agreed to head up the coaching team.
However, the talent England had at their disposal meant he was quickly won over.
He said: “(I thought) I’ll give it a go but I wasn’t sure. I knew they desperately wanted to do better than they had been doing and that no stone was going to be left unturned to try and get that World Cup.
“The main plan was to actually let them go out and test the ceiling of how good they could be.
“We knew they were going to stuff up, we knew they would lose games and lose some games badly but you only get better from making mistakes and seeing how well you can play.
“And then learn from those mistakes and with a period of four years to get it right, the talent in the team was obvious very early on.”
Bayliss highlighted Morgan’s leadership as a major factor in their limited-overs metamorphosis, adding: “He’s the one that’s really driven this going forward. The rest of the boys try to run through a brick wall for him.”
Bayliss was reticent to discuss Morgan’s future but believes the 32-year-old remains worthy of his place in the side, pointing out it would be too early for the Dubliner to take a coaching role.
He said: “He’s still good enough to be in this team for a while longer yet. There’s a T20 World Cup coming up in 12 months which I’m sure he’ll be more than up for.”
Bayliss is set to stand down from his position at the end of the summer. While England are revelling in their success, attention will turn to the Ashes following a one-off Test against Ireland at Lord’s later this month.
He said: “There’s still six very important matches to go in this summer, so we won’t be taking our foot off the pedal.
“I’ve not even thought about the Ashes at the moment, so there’s still some planning to do.”