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Ashes: Australia’s batters hit form, Bayliss in England


AP

Ashes: Australia’s batters hit form, Bayliss in England

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CANTERBURY, England (AP) — The countdown to the Ashes began in earnest on Thursday, with Australia’s batsmen immediately hitting their stride in the first warm-up game, and Trevor Bayliss arriving from Sydney to officially take charge of England.

Shaun Marsh staked his claim for a place in the first test in Cardiff starting on July 8 by scoring 114 on the first day against Kent, while his rival for an opening spot, Chris Rogers, added 84 in a first-wicket stand worth 181 runs.

Top-ranked test batsman Steve Smith (71 not out) and captain Michael Clarke (56) helped Australia rack 348-3 by stumps — an ominous start to the tour by a team looking to retain the Ashes after a 5-0 whitewash in 2013-14.

With less than a fortnight to go before the Ashes starts, Bayliss is finally in England — a month after being hired as the country’s first Australian coach. He landed in London and was met at the airport by England’s new director of cricket, Andrew Strauss.

Bayliss will meet England captain Alastair Cook on Friday before taking a 14-man squad on a short training camp to Spain.

“I’ll get to know the players, No. 1, apart from that, a little bit of planning before the Ashes,” said Bayliss, when asked before flying to England what his plans were for the training camp.

“It’ll be some good fun, I think. I’ll be just doing things the way I normally do with any of the cricket teams I’ve been involved in, and hopefully that means England playing some good cricket.”

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