Poms out to exploit under-fire Aussies

Trevor Bayliss has urged his England side to inflict a final knockout blow to an Australian team wobbling under the pressure of a potential fourth successive Ashes series defeat on UK soil.

England dominated Michael Clarke’s side in a one-sided third Test at Edgbaston easing to an eight-wicket victory before tea on the third day to take a 2-1 series lead.

Only once in Ashes history has a team come from 2-1 down to claim the series and defeat for the tourists at Trent Bridge next week would see Alastair Cook’s side regain the urn lost so embarrassingly 19 months ago.

It will also heap further pressure on the captaincy of Clarke, who is averaging 18.60 in this series and passed 25 just six times in his last 27 visits to the crease.

A middle order of Clarke, Adam Voges and Mitch Marsh contributed just 36 runs between them across both innings in Birmingham, an issue magnified by a rare failure with the bat from the skipper’s replacement-in-waiting Steve Smith.

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood also struggled with the ball and chairman of selectors Rod Marsh and coach Darren Lehmann have some decisions to make ahead of the fourth Test which starts on Thursday.

Bayliss is more familiar with the Australian players than the ones in the home dressing room and the former NSW coach knows full well the scrutiny they’ll be under going in to the Trent Bridge Test.

“I think we can take some lessons out of this match, ” Bayliss said.

“Some of the Australians will be under pressure … and hopefully we will be able to build on that pressure in the next match and not let them up off the floor.

“The message to the boys is go away and relax for a few extra days but come back with their own personal plans in place.”

Bayliss believes it’s been good bowling that’s led to Clarke’s battles in this series but maintained the 34-year-old is still good enough to rediscover the touch that’s made him one of the world’s great players over the last decade.

“Michael’s had a long career and had a few runs of form like this in the past and hes come back from them,” he said.

“The last thing we want to do is forecast his demise because that’s just giving him ammunition to come out and score a heap of runs.”

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