Morgan defends Bayliss ahead of Australia ODI series

Trevor Bayliss will step down as England head-coach after next year's Ashes, and Eoin Morgan praised his performance in the job.

Trevor Bayliss (L) and Eoin Morgan (R).   -  Getty Images

Eoin Morgan has leapt to the defence of England head-coach Trevor Bayliss, praising him for lifting the pressure off the squad.

Bayliss this week confirmed his intention to step down after the 2019 Ashes, England having surrendered the urn to Australia in a 4-0 series defeat.

READ: Australia completes dominant 4-0 Ashes series rout of England

The coach has been criticised for overseeing just 15 victories in 38 Tests at the helm, but has proved far more successful in the shorter formats by guiding the team to the final of the World Twenty20 in 2016 and the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy semifinals.

READ: Bayliss to step down as England coach next year

Limited-overs captain Morgan praised Bayliss' impact as England looks to restore pride in a five-match one-day international series against Australia and build towards next year's Cricket World Cup.

'We're very open-minded'

"He has been brilliant for us. As a coach, the one attribute he has is the ability to take the pressure away from any player at a time when you need it and that has helped me massively," said Morgan.

"We are going with the mantra that we always need to be on top of our game and testing the opposition the whole time. We have done that a bit with the bat, we will try and continue taking wickets with the ball.

READ: Vince handed England reprieve with T20 call-up

"This time next year we need to be in a good enough space to be contenders for the World Cup. To be in that space you need to be setting or bucking trends or being able to adapt. We are very open-minded with the way we are going.

"Also, the best way to address it is to be on the front foot."

'Stokes a fantastic player'

Morgan is not expected to make a decision on a potential return for Alex Hales until the day of the first ODI in Melbourne on Sunday.

Hales could be involved for the first time since being suspended for his involvement in an incident in Bristol in September, which saw team-mate Ben Stokes arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

READ: Returning Hales and skipper Morgan help England to tour victory

With Stokes ruled out until the conclusion of a police investigation, Morgan feels the greater clarity around the situation means it will not affect the team.

"Ben is a fantastic player. We will miss him but we know he is not going to be part of this series so we can address the balance of this side," he added.

"It gives clarity to everybody in the team. It creates a lot more calm around the periphery."

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