Ashley Giles relaxes as 'Frankenstein's monster' of a squad leaves

Coach was nervous at start of debut series but learnt a lot from failures during India experiments

Dharamsala

They came, they saw, but the conquering must wait for a team less experimental. The England coach, Ashley Giles, who admitted that a bout of pre-tour nerves left him not himself, confirmed as much.

"On reflection, if I'd been offered 3-2 maybe I would have taken it. I couldn't have got a much tougher start. We've seen a lot of different guys and learnt a lot of different things even in games we've lost. If we weren't learning I'd be worried."

As experiments go, by the end of the series there was an air of Frankenstein's monster about the squad: it was from the failed elements that Giles learnt the most. Just like Dr Frankenstein, he has learned a good deal about himself.

"I've enjoyed it," Giles said of the experience, "When I first came I was a little nervous, almost not yourself. I feel more relaxed now, I feel I can be more myself."

If Giles' confidence was galvanised, there was also a sense of certain players being cut adrift into an Arctic wilderness. Craig Kieswetter landed in India in possession of the wicketkeeping gloves, he departs without them. There have been concerns about his ability to control an innings and his failure to do so in Kochi and Ranchi merely publicly confirmed private misgivings.

Jos Buttler's elevation at Kieswetter's expense may look like Giles' first ruthless act, but the real surprise is that it did not happen sooner. There are only six one-day internationals left before the Champions Trophy for Buttler to prove himself. His keeping was competent, although his promise lies in his ability in front of, not behind, the stumps. Ian Bell has spoken of the cramping effect M S Dhoni's up-to-the-stumps keeping had on his and Kevin Pietersen's front-foot game. Fortunately for Buttler, the benefits accrued from an innately talented wicketkeeper are unquantifiable.

What can be counted are the runs routinely given away by Jade Dernbach. When set against the penetrating displays of Steven Finn, the 26-year-old has much to learn, quickly. There is little to write about fellow pace bowler Stuart Meaker because we saw so little. His absence from the last of the five matches in Dharamsala was damnable, as was Giles' response to Meaker's non-selection: "We wanted to win the game."

Samit Patel at least played in Dharamsala but his bowling has regressed and his ability against spin was not in evidence. His fall will be little noticed owing to the rise of Joe Root. Giles described the 22-year-old as "phenomenal". It is hard to disagree. Root's improvements with the ball and the Indian conditions saw England ditch their policy of picking five front-line bowlers but Giles all but admitted the abandonment would be brief.

"The balance will be something we look at in New Zealand because conditions will be similar to the Champions Trophy. Often when you pick five bowlers they know their roles. Picking more bowlers can muddle it. With five top-quality bowlers they have to do the job."

Those five for the Champions Trophy will include James Anderson and Graeme Swann, both exempt from the Indian experiment, and Stuart Broad if he proves both form and fitness. Finn is the fourth. And the fifth? That will be a choice between youngsters Chris Woakes and James Harris – both in the one-day squad for New Zealand – and Tim Bresnan, who misses the rest of winter as medical specialists examine his bothersome elbow.

While those doctors get to work on Bresnan, Giles will be using New Zealand as his new laboratory. Luckily for Giles' nerves, this time only tinkering will be required.

Squad report: hits and misses

WINNERS

James Tredwell As an individual, he is diametrically opposed to Graeme Swann; as a player, almost his equal.

Jos Buttler At the centre of much glove-induced angst as Craig Kieswetter's form fell away. But the gloves fit Buttler.

Joe Root Hasn't been asked to keep yet. If he is, he'd probably turn out to be in the same mould as Alan Knott.

LOSERS

Danny Briggs His injury announcement in Dharamsala was the first anyone knew about him being on tour.

Jade Dernbach More varieties than Heinz but is so expensive not even a Russian oligarch could afford him.

Craig Kieswetter This may be the last time you read the 25-year-old's name in England news for a while. Savour it.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?