England win but top order an Ashes concern

England coach Trevor Bayliss has concerns ahead of the Ashes despite a series win over the Proteas.

England coach Trevor Bayliss has concerns ahead of the Ashes despite a series win over the Proteas.

England coach Trevor Bayliss admits he has some Ashes problems to fix, even after enjoying a 3-1 Test series win over South Africa.

Joe Root's first assignment as England's skipper was a major success on many fronts.

Allrounders Ben Stoke and Moeen Ali enhanced their reputations, with the latter named man of the series after becoming the first player to claim 25 wickets and score 250-plus runs in a four-Test series.

Offspinner Ali snared 5-69 to hand England a 177-run victory at Old Trafford, where they clambered over Australia to snatch third spot on the Test rankings.

But former NSW player and coach Bayliss acknowledges his XI is far from settled ahead of this summer's Ashes.

England's top order is in a state of flux. Three positions in their top five remain up for grabs, with none more glaring than that of opener.

Alastair Cook has had 11 opening partners since Andrew Strauss retired in 2012.

There is speculation it could be 12 come next week, with Nick Gubbins in the mix to make his debut when England host West Indies in their maiden day-night Test.

"Are we any closer to solving those problems at the top of the order? To be honest, no," said Australian Bayliss.

"We're not papering over the cracks.

"We've still got two or three positions we haven't nailed down yet ... we're still looking for those guys to prove their worth at this level.

"They know they have some things to work on."

Bayliss will meet with selectors on Friday, with much of the discussion likely to centre on Keaton Jennings' place in the side.

Jennings opened with Cook in all four Tests against South Africa, managing 127 runs at 15.87.

"Keaton would be disappointed," Bayliss said.

"He's still an option to go to Australia. I'd be surprised if we don't take more than a couple of openers."

In their first series under Root, England's only loss was a 340-run defeat in the second Test at Trent Bridge.

"It's been very enjoyable, the majority of the time. There was a week that wasn't quite as much fun as the other three," Root said.

"But that is part and parcel of being a captain. I hope it's the start of something."

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