‘We acquitted ourselves very well’

Despite the first Test in Rajkot ending in a draw, England coach Trevor Bayliss was delighted with his side’s efforts in tricky Indian conditions.

England fell four wickets short of recording a win on day five, but were thwarted by Virat Kohli’s gritty batting. Bayliss was happy with the overall performance though.

With Alastair Cook, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, and Ben Stokes scoring tons, Haseeb Hameed making an impactful debut, and Adil Rashid bagging seven wickets, the coach was pleased to see they’d moved past the recent Bangladesh defeat.

Bayliss said, as quoted on Cricinfo: “Win, lose or draw, I thought effort-wise that’s probably the best performance we’ve had since I’ve been with the team.

“The way the guys played in this Test should give us plenty of confidence. Our batters played well against their spinners, and our spinners and seamers all bowled well. We acquitted ourselves very well.

“We’re under no illusions that these next four Tests could be even tougher than this one.

“But if we put in more performances like that, we’ll probably be playing consistent cricket – and that’s what we’re after – and we’ll have a chance of winning more games.

“So we’ve got to continue putting in that effort. But if we do, we’ve a chance of winning.”

Looking to the second Test, paceman James Anderson will still need to further impress the coach in the nets before returning from injury, and Bayliss will be loathe to change the side after such a good effort.

He said of Anderson’s potential return: “We’ll assess him in the next couple of days. But from all reports, he’s been bowling well in the nets.

“The medical staff say he’s in better shape than he was when he came back and played against Pakistan. We’ll put him through his paces again.

“He’s a guy who’s always looked after himself, so he’s nicely fit.”