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I try and create an honest environment, says Trevor

KKR coach on being rewarded by CA & more
Trevor Bayliss

Calcutta: Trevor Bayliss, head coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), has an impressive addition to his CV: He’s Australia’s stand-in coach for the two-match series of T20Is against South Africa, later this year.

New South Welshman Bayliss, 51, had been Sri Lanka’s head coach when they made the final of the 2011 World Cup. So, he has plenty of international experience.

Bayliss, who spoke to The Telegraph on Saturday, is the type who prefers his work to do the talking. Cricket Australia (CA) have listened.

Excerpts...

Being appointed stand-in coach for the T20Is...

I feel honoured. Every coach would like to work with his national team at some point in his career. One looks forward to such opportunities.

Approached by...

Pat Howard, CA’s executive general manager, team performance.

Possibility of a bigger role in the future...

I’m very happy with my current assignments... With New South Wales, Sydney Sixers and, of course, with KKR.

CA recognising his KKR record...

Yes, I’m sure my results with KKR have played a part. As also with New South Wales and with the Sydney Sixers.

Exchanging notes with regular coach Darren Lehmann...

I have done so. One of the strengths of Australia’s coaching structure is that there’s constant interaction between Darren and the state coaches. There is a line of communication.

Challenges of working in a stand-in capacity...

Well, I have worked with the national players from New South Wales and also know the others. We’ll work well together.

If he’ll be out to make a point...

Not me. But I’m sure the players will be keen to do so.

Style of coaching...

It’s fairly relaxed. I try to keep things very simple, allowing for fun... I try and create an honest environment.

Experience of working with a national team, a provincial side and with T20 franchises...

From a cricket point of view, there’s not a lot which is different. All teams have similar personality types and pretty similar styles... The basics don’t change.

Ideal coach...

Don’t think any particular way of coaching is the best. Different coaches are suited to different teams. It’s about styles. The trick really is in marrying one with the other.

Difference a coach can make, at the highest level...

Not a real lot technically. Remember, players reach the international level because they are good players. At the top-most level, a coach should really look to create an environment that best allows the players to give their best... A coach has to make sure that each player understands his role in the team. Going forward, that’s critical.

Focusing on the mental side...

A large part of a coach’s work does focus on the mental side. Players have decent technique. It’s about how best they use what they actually have.

Happy staying in the background...

That’s because I believe the game belongs to the players and it’s not about the coach. A coach gives advice, but doesn’t himself either bat or bowl.

Pressure on a coach...

The worst thing that any coach can do is to show that he’s under pressure and intimidate his players. Because, ultimately, a coach’s success depends on them. Coaches are judged on how their teams fare. That’s fairly universal.

Handling pressure...

A coach must be calm and have the confidence that his approach is the right way. That will take care of pressure.

His years as a coach...

I’ve learnt not to take anything for granted. I’ve realised that everybody gets the same amount of luck, it’s just that some make better use of what they get.

Formula to succeed in T20s...

Having the ability to think clearly and being able to perform under pressure. That makes the difference.

Lastly... KKR winning their second IPL title in three years...

Credit goes to a group of talented players, motivated to do well and led by an inspirational captain (Gautam Gambhir).