— England Cricket (@englandcricket) January 17, 2016
Head Coach Trevor Bayliss believes there is more to come from his England side after they secured a Test series victory away to South Africa .
A seven-wicket victory in Johannesburg handed the tourists a 2-0 lead with only the fourth Test in Centurion to come, adding the significant achievement of downing the world’s top-ranked Test side on their own patch to last summer’s Ashes success.
However, despite passing a couple of notable milestones in his first year in charge, Bayliss insists there is plenty of scope for further improvement.
“I had a look at the players that were here there was a lot of potential but potential never won anything, there’s a lot of hard work to be done yet,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“There has been a lot of good work done in the past, not just by the players but the coaching staff.
“I still think they’re a few years away from their best yet.”
— Stuart Broad (@StuartBroad8) January 17, 2016
England’s third Test triumph came after another unplayable spell with the ball from Stuart Broad, who ripped through the Proteas’ top order with a spell of five wickets for one run en route to figures of 6-17.
The 29-year-old is now the top-ranked Test bowler in the world, and Bayliss admits his latest match-winning spell brought back memories of last summer’s Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, where Broad returned figures of 8-15 as the Australians were dismantled on the opening morning.
“Yesterday morning I was hoping for a minimum 50-run lead and a few South African wickets by the afternoon,” added Bayliss.
“I thought we batted reasonably well to get a small lead. We didn’t know what was going to happen after lunch – eight wickets in a session is memories of Trent Bridge.
“Stuart Broad when he gets on a roll is a very intimidating character off a long run.
“He’s a very skilful bowler as well who puts the ball in the right area and moves the ball both ways.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) January 16, 2016
“As we’ve seen with his record, when he’s on and his rhythm is good he gets a lot of wickets for not many runs.”
While England’s bowling was outstanding, it was backed up by some sharp fielding – most notably with James Taylor holding a couple of screamers at short-leg.
And Bayliss had reminded his side at the lunch interval of the importance of ramping up the pressure out in the middle.
“It was a bit of a reminder about what we’ve done when we have fielded well in the past – it’s about helping to put pressure on the opposition, backing the bowlers up; try and make the batter feel that he doesn’t know where his next run is coming from.
“I thought in the first innings we were a little bit quiet in the field.
“We were standing still and waiting for the ball to come to us, so I wanted to change that attitude. We went out after lunch and did that and backed up the bowling beautifully.”