England thumped South Africa by 211 runs in the first Test at Lord’s where off-spinner bagged a total of 10 wickets during the process. Coach Trevor Bayliss said that the team would stick to one spinner only.
“We’ll stick with one spinner and one batter that bowls a little,” Bayliss said after victory at Lord’s. “And that’s important for Mo more than anything. He wants to be in the team as a batter that bowls a bit so we’ve selected him as a batter and the second spinner.”
“It takes that little bit of pressure off him. He does see himself as a batter first and a spinner second. And I suppose that doesn’t mean he’s still not our best spinner but his No. 1 job is to bat,” he added.
Talking about Rashid and Moeen, Bayliss said that the two players are attacking spinners and the team felt if they could get someone who could control a little better.
“Moeen and Adil Rashid are very similar characters,” Bayliss said. “Both are attacking spinners and we just felt if we could get someone who could control a little better – and hopefully take some wickets as well – that might set us up more long-term.”
“In the second innings, Dawson did that role very well. If it is tight at one end, it allows Mo – as an attacking style offspinner – to attack at the other,” said Bayliss.
“Liam admitted he was very nervous in the first innings. It was his first Test match at home and his first Test at Lord’s. It was one of those games when it didn’t quite come out for him how he would have liked in that first innings, but I thought he showed the character we know he has to come back and bowl better in the second innings. It was a good partnership with Mo,” he added.
Mentioning about Liam Dawson’s opportunity the coach insisted that he has some chances at the moment but there are a number of good, young spinners.
“Dawson has the opportunity at the moment but there are a number of other good, young spinners – and Rash himself – pushing hard. But Dawson is the one with the opportunity at the moment. I thought in the one Test match he played in India, he was probably our best spinner. He deserves that opportunity.”
England won the match convincingly by 211 runs and Trevor suggested that this is a combination that can play on different wickets.
“The combination we had in this game could play on a lot of wickets,” he said. “We’re lucky that we have Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Ali who can bat five, six and seven. That allows us to have three other pace bowlers and another spinner. Somewhere along the line, we could throw in someone else in one of those positions, whether it is another batter, another pace bowler if we need one. It just gives us plenty of options.”