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England intent to play steady cricket

Press AssociationPress Association 22/11/2016

Trevor Bayliss has implied Virat Kohli's critique of England's failed bid to save the second Test is little more than mid-series mind mes.

After India went 1-0 up with three to play following a 246-run win in Vizag on Monday, their captain expressed his surprise that England's batsmen had shown no intent as they instead embarked on an attempted 'blockathon' to bat out 150-plus overs to achieve a stalemate.

England's tactics appeared to be working while captain Alastair Cook and his teenage opening partner Haseeb Hameed were sharing a defiant stand of 75 in more than 50 overs.

But once they were both gone on the fourth evening, England folded fast on the final day - bowled out for 158 shortly after lunch.

England must therefore plot a route back into the series, starting in Mohali on Saturday - and from the tone of Bayliss' response to Kohli's observations, it seems unlikely they will be distracted by any such noises off the field.

"He can say that. He's just playing the game as well," Bayliss said.

"We could have been 180 (on Sunday night), or we could have been six down as well ...

"We felt we had to have as many wickets in hand as possible (the next morning)."

England still had eight, despite the hammer-blow departure of Cook to the last ball of the fourth day, but no one could get set again to launch a rearguard as Ravi Ashwin finished with an eight-wicket match haul.

Bayliss added: "Yes, we'd love to have had a few more runs on the board. But some (people) have criticised us in the past for losing too many wickets going for runs.

"The way they went about things was fine. All we asked the players to do was go out and play as well as they can in their fashion. Two guys at the top of the order got their heads down and showed the other guys what was possible."

England are expected to make at least two changes for the third Test, where a renewed emphasis on seam over spin may be in the offing for both teams - at this venue only.

As for England's batsmen, Bayliss believes they have fared as well as anyone could have expected, considering only three have previously been on a Test tour to India - and of them, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow played just one match apiece four years ago.

"We've come to India with basically only three guys who have been here before, and only one of the batters," he said.

"I think what we've done here in the first two matches is a feather in the cap to the young guys."

The tourists, who flew to Chandigarh on Tuesday and will not practise on Wednesday, appear unlikely at this stage to risk Stuart Broad's foot injury at the weekend - with Chris Woakes fit again after resting his knee niggle.

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