West Indies vs England: Trevor Bayliss left 'speechless' by latest collapse as he calls for more mental discipline

England capitulared to a humiliating 381-run defeat to the West Indies in Barbados leaving their coach with much to ponder

Jonathan Liew
Bridgetown
Sunday 27 January 2019 16:45
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Independent chief sports writer Jonathan Liew on the 1st Test between England and West Indies

Trevor Bayliss says England need to show more mental discipline to avoid the batting collapses that have plagued their progress. England’s crushing 381-run defeat against the West Indies in Barbados was fuelled by their inability to bat for sustained periods, and after being bowled out for 77 on Thursday, Bayliss admitted he had been left “speechless” by their capitulation against the off-spin of Roston Chase on Saturday evening.

“I think it comes down to a bit of guts and determination to get through those tough periods,” he said. “They bowled extremely well against us, but when a team bowls extremely well against us we have got to be able to deal with it. It’s not the first time that we’ve succumbed in a short space of time. We made good starts, but at this level you have to be able to bat longer than that.”

Bayliss has become increasingly frustrated by England’s habit of collapsing under pressure, and with just eight months to go before he steps down from his role, he admitted he was no nearer solving the riddle of this side. “We can put in unbelievable individual and team performances, and then... well, it’s not the first time this has happened,” he said. “To be honest, I don’t know how to explain it. Every time we lose a wicket, it’s the beginning of a collapse. We have to work out what’s the difference between putting on a partnership after losing a wicket, and losing eight or nine quick ones.”

There were warm words from the England coach for Rory Burns, who made his highest Test score of 84 in the second innings, but Bayliss admitted Keaton Jennings was on thin ice after another two failures. “Keaton is struggling a little bit,” he said. “I’d be lying if I said we’re not worried about it, and I’d be lying if I said he hadn’t been thinking about it. He’s one of the hardest workers we’ve got, and he’s going to leave no stone unturned in making it better.”

Bayliss defended England’s preparation ahead of the first Test, pointing out that they had also prepared for their series in Sri Lanka by playing a couple of two-day warm-up games, a series they went on to win 3-0. He also defended the team selection, which saw England play two spinners against a four-man West Indies pace attack. In a way, Chase’s eight wickets were a partial vindication of that decision.

“You make those decisions thinking that the five guys you pick are going to bowl as well as we know they can do,” he said. “Take Stokes and Anderson out, maybe one spell of Moeen, and we were far from our best in this match. We have a bit of work to do there.

“When we saw the wicket, we were going to go with two spinners. It was down to Curran or Broad. The gut feel was Curran. He has done well for us over the last six or seven games. It didn’t work out like that: the young bloke has had the first bad Test in his career. It won’t be his last, but he’s a good young player who will learn from it.”

Bayliss promised an improved performance in Thursday’s second Test in Antigua. “The boys are in the dressing room hurting,” he said. “I’d be worried if they weren’t. We’ve been in this situation before, and they’ve come out and played some good cricket in the next Test match. So I’m looking forward to the next Test.”

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