Monday, 23 January 2017, 09:45pm
Trevor Bayliss warns England bowlers that Champions Trophy places up for grabs
Bayliss has just seen his 50-over side lose a thrilling series 2-1 to India and, before attention moves to the three-match Twenty20 leg, there was time for the Australian to review what he saw in Pune, Cuttack and Kolkata.
The batting unit emerged firmly in credit despite defeat, racking up scores of 350, 366 and 321, and no surprises are likely on the front when the 15-man party is named in April. There is room for improvement in terms of conversion rates, with captain Eoin Morgan scoring the team's only hundred while India boasted four centurions, but the key slots are essentially filled ahead of the prestigious home tournament in June.
The same may not be true of the bowling ranks, where Chris Woakes is perhaps alone in feeling fully established and on form.
Liam Plunkett, Jake Ball and David Willey are the men in possession of the specialist seam places but Bayliss is still looking for more - from them, or somebody else.
"The batting is probably pretty close to what we'll go in with, barring injuries or bad loss of form, but the bowlers would be disappointed with their lack of consistency on a good length in the series," he said.
"Our Achilles heel has been taking wickets on flat pitches when the ball's not moving around. We've taken wickets early but when the pitch has flattened out and the ball's lost its shine it's been more difficult. That's certainly an area we're continuously working on and we have to improve on it.
"Everyone's a viable option until we finalise the squad. We've bowled well before in English conditions so I'm not overly worried that's going to be a problem but we have got two or three players pushing for a position in the team."
Of those options a fit-again Mark Wood appears the likeliest selection, Stuart Broad and Steven Finn the experienced hands and Tymal Mills - who currently operates as a Twenty20 specialist on fitness grounds - the most intriguing.
"We'll see how Tymal goes in these T20s...whether 10 overs is a little too far for him I don't know," mused Bayliss.
"That's something we'll have to keep in the back of our mind. Wood's coming back from injury as well and we've got guys like Finn and Broad on the outside. There's still a number of games to go before that Champions Trophy so that'll keep pressure on the guys in the team. We've seen in the past that they have done a job for us so there's no reason why they can't come back."
England's T20 group moved on to Kanpur without Willey, who remained in Kolkata to undergo scans on the left shoulder injury he suffered in the five-run win at Eden Gardens.
The results showed no significant damage and the 26-year-old will be rejoining the squad for further assessment by the England medical team.
They are likely to be cautious in their treatment of the left-armer but remain hopeful he could still play some part in the final leg of a long and trying winter tour.
Willey's Pakistan Super League franchise Quetta Gladiators were less optimistic and dropped him at Monday's supplementary draft, later picking up team-mate Moeen Ali to join a stable of Englishmen that also includes Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright and Mills.
Alex Hales, who broke his hand in the second ODI, has been released by Peshawar Zalmi but his opening partner Jason Roy was snapped up by Lahore Qalanders.
The competition's group stage is being held in Dubai and Sharjah and gets under way on February 9. England's ODI players will only be available for a limited window with the first warm-up match of their West Indian tour on February 25.
India, meanwhile, have rested spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja from the T20 series, calling up Amit Mishra and Parvez Rasool.
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David Willey is set to rejoin England's Twenty20 squad in Kanpur on Tuesday