Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 10 December 2019

Trevor Bayliss relying on T20 track record and 'leader' Moeen Ali to adjust to Abu Dhabi T10

Former England coach has plenty of success in T20 cricket and believes it will hold him in good stead for the 10-over format

Trevor Bayliss is set to make his debut at a T10 coach for Team Abu Dhabi. Reuters
Trevor Bayliss is set to make his debut at a T10 coach for Team Abu Dhabi. Reuters

It is pushing it to suggest that when Team Abu Dhabi’s players started to assemble on Monday ahead of the T10 league, it might have felt like they were getting the old crew back together.

It is, after all, less than a month since they were announced as the eighth franchise in the eponymously named Abu Dhabi T10.

And, as with all the teams in the competition given the confusion over the participation of Pakistan players, their squad might not be entirely settled quite yet.

Those who have descended on the capital have less than a week to find new stash that fits them, introduce themselves to new teammates, then try to forge working relationships, before thinking about attempting to win some cricket matches.

Fortunately for Team Abu Dhabi, they have at the helm a coach who is well versed in success in short-format franchise cricket. Well, success in any form of cricket for that matter.

Trevor Bayliss arrived from Sydney on Sunday evening. The Australian might be experiencing the T10 for the first time, but he does have the sort of CV that suggests he might just work out a formula for success in quick time.

Bayliss has been the winning coach in the Indian Premier League twice. He has also won the Big Bash League in Australia, and the Caribbean Premier League, while England won the World Cup for the first time on his watch this year.

Fair to say, the league’s newcomers are in safe hands ahead of their debut against Qalandars on Friday night.

“I haven’t experienced T10, but have been involved in the IPL and Big Bash back in Australia, and I don’t think it will be terribly different from that,” Bayliss said. “There’s not so many overs to play, but I think it will be a similar type feel to those tournaments.

“First of all, you need good players, ones who have a proven record in the cricket they have played, but there are no guarantees it is going to be a success straight away.

“The guys we have selected are all good guys. There are a lot of guys in the team who have played difference franchise cricket, and they would have played alongside each other.

England all-rounder Moeen Ali is the icon player for Team Abu Dhabi in the Abu Dhabi T10. Antonie Robertson/The National
England all-rounder Moeen Ali is the icon player for Team Abu Dhabi in the Abu Dhabi T10. Antonie Robertson/The National

“They would be used to playing these franchise type competitions as well. We have a few days to get to know each other, but it will be a little bit of an unknown.”

Bayliss played a central role in selecting the Team Abu Dhabi squad for their first appearance in this tournament. As such, it involves a variety of players who have worked under him in the past.

Not least the team’s headline player, Moeen Ali, who was a key figure in the England side coached by Bayliss up until this summer.

Bayliss believes Moeen will be perfectly suited to guide the new franchise through the challenges ahead.

“Mo is somewhat of a free spirit with the way he plays his cricket,” Bayliss said. “With the bat, he is a free flowing style of batter. He will go out and play in the same fashion every time.

“In the past, he has copped a little bit of criticism over that, but it is what has made him successful over a long period of time. It is certainly not going to change during this tournament.

“He is a guy with a good sense of humour. I am sure, as the leader of this group, he will instill that sort of confidence with the rest of the group as well.”

UAE all-rounder Rohan Mustafa is playing for Team Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National
UAE all-rounder Rohan Mustafa is playing for Team Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National

All the teams in the Abu Dhabi T10 are multicultural, but few sides are represented by nationalities that go so far beyond cricket’s mainstream as the one representing the capital.

The spine of the side will be English, with the likes of Moeen, Harry Gurney and Luke Wright, but there are also established players from New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Australia.

There is also Hayden Walsh Jr, who is a geography lesson in his own right, having represented both United States and now West Indies, as well as Paras Khadka from Nepal.

They also have two of the UAE’s outstanding players, Rohan Mustafa and Rameez Shahzad, as well as the national team coach, Dougie Brown, assisting Bayliss.

“There is a huge feeling of anticipation around this tournament and the inclusion of Team Abu Dhabi adds a natural interest for local fans to rally around,” Aref Al Awani, the general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said.

“They are a team filled with an exceptional mix of player and coaching talent, and we know T10 fans are going to love seeing them in action.”

Updated: November 11, 2019 08:59 PM

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