Sport England's patchy bats a concern: coach

16:55  12 november  2017
16:55  12 november  2017 Source:   MSN

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Coach Trevor Bayliss admits concern at the patchy form of England's batsmen.© Ryan Pierse/Getty Images Coach Trevor Bayliss admits concern at the patchy form of England's batsmen. Coach Trevor Bayliss admits concern at the patchy form of England's batsmen but excludes struggling stalwart Alastair Cook from his worries.

Veteran opener Cook has lacked touch in England's warm-up games ahead of the first Test against Australia starting November 23.

After a second-ball duck in the tour opener in Perth, Cook managed 15 and 32 in England's win over a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide.

CA XI coach Ryan Harris described Cook as looking rusty and Bayliss couldn't disagree.

"It would be fair to say Cooky always looks a bit rusty," Bayliss told reporters.

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"And he would probably be the first to admit that ... but obviously having played almost 150 Tests, I'm sure he has been through this before and knows how to handle it.

"I haven't really got too many concerns about him, he has been in this situation before."

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No English batsman has scored a century in the initial two warm-up games and the tourists suffered a horror collapse in Adelaide, losing 7-45 in the second innings.

"It has been a little bit of a concern for us for a little while," Bayliss said of the batting crashes.

"We have games like that where we have lost wickets and it is a concern.

"We have got a reasonably inexperienced line-up when it comes to international cricket but they are learning all the time.

"And it's not from want of trying.

"They realise they have got to get better and they are working very hard in the nets to try and achieve that."

England travel to Townsville for another four-day game against the CA XI starting Wednesday with a fresh injury problem.

Paceman Jake Ball strained ligaments in his right ankle when bowling in Adelaide, just days after fellow quick Steven Finn was sent home because of a knee injury.

Seamer Tom Curran has arrived as Finn's replacement while Sussex seamer George Garton will be added to the squad for the Townsville game.

Allrounder Moeen Ali will make his first competitive outing of the tour in the Townsville game after overcoming a side strain.

Bayliss expected Ball to be available for selection for the first Test.

"He is fairly confident ... he has got a (protective) boot on at the moment but that is more precautionary," he said.

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