For England to win the 1st Ashes Test at Cardiff so comprehensively has certainly shifted the initial belief by many of the experts and usual cheerleaders.
From personal attendance at a splendid Melbourne University Cricket Club function in the MCG Long Room on Day 1, the buoyant mood at the gathering in expectation of a dominant performance by the Australians was bordering upon overwhelming. As the England upper order stuttered to 3/43 with wickets shared. Lyon snaring Cook in traditional off spin inducement, a combination of good bowling and shrewd tactics from Clarke. An early edge from the bat of Root……..that was horribly missed by Haddin, and it all went wrong from here.
In the home rooms, Trevor Bayliss, the new leader of England off field, early grimness as the inner emotional roller coaster swayed from anguish to emerging confidence. A pitch, initially described by Jim Maxwell as a “CEO’s wicket”, was able to oddly render the Australian strikers impotent whereas England always threatened. Maybe had more to do with skill, persistence and intelligence for the duration. A more confident aggressive outlook by the visitors, actually falling behind in the eventual result on many measurements.
Noted by George Dobell – “The convenient narrative will suggest that England have been freed up by the promotion of Paul Farbrace and the arrival of Trevor Bayliss. And no doubt both have made important contributions.”
With a lead of 1-0, momentum has rapidly shifted. The result claimed in four days, possibly providing a welcome pause for Australia to regroup and sensibly reflect that the present away record stands at losing 11 of the last 17 away Tests and only one of the last 15 Tests in England (or Wales). The mood amongst the locals transfers towards expectation and premature jubilation.
So to Lords the series moves for the 2nd Test Match. The spiritual home of cricket that is the ultimate experience for the players, the purist and the tourist. Here Bayliss will find himself inhabiting the rooms by turning left to the Home rooms, instead of right to the Australian rooms after walking into the Members Pavilion from the playing surface.
This post from here shall provide an insight as to the environment that he now finds himself. Please enjoy.
The joy and weight of local adulation will be a unique pressure to the new England coach in Trevor Bayliss as he arrives at Lords wearing the Crown and Three Lions.
The feeling and tone within the team during and after Cardiff as described by Jimmy Anderson.
That tone was set by new head coach Trevor Bayliss, according to Anderson. “He was brilliant – very different to most coaches I’ve had in the past. Just very laid-back. He just sort of glides around the dressing room throughout the day and then he always picked the right time to say something.”
The view before the game from the ground will be an interesting challenge to remain focused on everything planned within the majesty of cricket’s greatest ground and the assorted flotsam who invade the playing space pregame. He will observe players going through rituals and routine, keeping any minor deviation in check.
He will leave the ground, up a slight slope through the immaculate white gate and into the Members pavilion. Once inside the Members, maybe glancing back over his shoulder to the middle before turning left, cutting the corner of the bar and then left again.
Today, Bayliss will continue that glide up the staircase past the gaze of many legendary captains and players. The portraits a magnificent array of classical and obtuse.
He will arrive at the doorway to the players room, cross over a short passage that to the right leads to the bathroom amenities, and enter the dressing room.
Around the walls are leather benches, hooks and chairs where the players will be in their own assorted state of meticulousness or random scattering. A large bureau in the middle of the room acting as a bench top, seat or leaning post. On this will be placed team lists, vitamin drinks, fruit, gum, newspapers, various publications, tickets in envelopes for friends. If anything is missing or needed, an omnipresent butler is always lurking to assist.
Massage tables, medical equipment will be near the single sink and the refrigerator below stocked with a range of beverages. The screen will have on the live broadcast feed with a direct connection to the analysis program where any aspect of play can be instantly scrutinised. This will also be connected to the main database where players and coaches can access footage from any match files stored in the library.
He will be greeted by the tradition of ringing the 5 minute bell, the bell located just outside the Bowler’s Bar to signal the imminent start of play.
As the team depart the room behind Captain Cook, he will then likely position himself on the narrow balcony. At best about five chairs can sit abreast on this tiny landing with others perched behind within the arched doorway.
The view upon the ground, breathtaking. Practically within touching distance to his left the members in various moods of attentiveness.
Other staff and sundry in the rooms will decide to either watch the screen or hunch in reverse across the benches to view from a side window.
The roar of the crowd and waves of applause will fill the atmosphere, an orchestra of humanity in a form of sporting symphony. Good luck to both teams as the contest unfolds. And a story for another day, as the players and coaches refuel during meal breaks, never a shortage of options – including copious beef.