Dom Bess’ confidence has not been dented by being dropped from the England side during the Test series in India, says spin-bowling coach Jeetan Patel, after the youngster endured a tough day in Ahmedabad.
Off-spinner Bess, 23, played in England’s 227-run win over India in the first Test in Chennai but was then left out of the second and third Tests of the four-match series.
Bess was recalled for the final Test but has so far gone wicketless from 15 overs and conceded 56 runs after struggling to hit a consistent length.
- Fourth Test scorecard: India vs England
- Day two in Ahmedabad – as it happened
Asked by reporters at stumps on day two whether being dropped earlier in the series had affected Bess, Patel said: “It probably looks like that but I wouldn’t say that at all. He needed a break, if I am being honest.
“He was tired after that first Test and it affected how the ball was bowled but he was very excited coming into this Test match. He was ready, he was prepped.
“He would have liked to have bowled a lot better and given a lot more to the group but it didn’t work out and India played him very well. They sat on him and looked for balls to score when they could.
“Right now he will be quite down and quite tired but the beauty of this game is that there is another opportunity tomorrow for him.”
Bess came close to trapping Rishabh Pant lbw for 35 before tea but the on-field decision of not out stood – and Pant went on to score 101 from 118 balls as India closed on 294-7 to lead by 89.
Patel continued: “If he had got that lbw just before tea I think we would have seen a different Dominic Bess in the afternoon.
Bess was visibly shaken by the end of the day because he couldn’t keep the control that Anderson and Stokes had given. He was really hurting that he was letting the team down.
Nasser Hussain on Dom Bess (Pic credit – BCCI)
“There is still room for him to improve, just like everyone in this group.
“He is very young and I keep saying that he is still learning how to play red ball at Test level, which is very difficult. He will be better for these experiences going forward.
“There are technical changes we can always improve on and there is nitty-gritty stuff we’d like to get into but, at the moment, it’s about the tactical side.
“We can’t get into too much technical stuff with Test matches on at the moment – we don’t want to cloud him. He has time after this Test match to look at that.”
England all-rounder Ben Stokes bowled 20 overs on day two in sweltering heat, dismissing Virat Kohli for nought and Rohit Sharma for 49, with the tourists at one point reducing India to 146-6.
Stokes’ mighty efforts with the ball followed him top-scoring with 55 in England’s first innings of 205 all out – all while he battles an upset stomach.
Patel added: “Ben is pretty cooked but he is a warhorse. He loves it when it gets hot, loves it when it gets tough and tiring. That’s when he stands up the most.
“He is the man you want to go to, he is almost like a Superman with this stuff. He enjoys the tough battles and I wonder if him taking the new ball gave him that little extra kick.
“To bowl for an hour and a half as a seamer and create the opportunities he did, you have to tip your hat. Then to come back later in the day when things were flatter and try again was pretty special to see.”
Follow text commentary from day three of the fourth Test between India and England in Ahmedabad on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app from 3.50am on Saturday.
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