1. ITV Report

'Thump on the head': Bayliss jokes about dropping Stokes

Ben Stokes Photo: PA

England coach Trevor Bayliss believes Ben Stokes is capable of becoming one of the greatest all-rounders ever, after he guided England to a tense victory over Bangladesh in the first Test.

Stokes fittingly took the final two wickets as England clinched a 22-run win in Chittagong on the final morning, having bailed out the tourists with both ball and bat as the Test unfolded.

His four for 26 sparked a Bangladesh collapse as they surrendered a first-innings lead and when the game was back in the balance after England's top order floundered, Stokes rode to the rescue with a mature 85 from 151 balls which helped set a target that proved agonisingly beyond the hosts.

It was arguably Stokes' finest all-round display in an England shirt and that it came on a turning wicket not generally suited to his strengths was all the more satisfying for Bayliss.

The potential of the guy, he could be right up there with some of the all-time best all-rounders. Only time will tell.

Certainly the strides he's made on the subcontinent playing spin has been top class.

It wasn't all that long ago we were wondering how he might go on spin-friendly wickets, but he's a guy that works extremely hard in the nets.

I think it's his defence to spin that he's improved out of sight. We know that if he gets a bad ball he can hit anything over the fence but you've got to be there to get that loose ball.

– Trevor Bayliss, England Coach
England coach Trevor Bayliss. Credit: PA

With another six Tests to play before Christmas, England have stressed the need to manage workloads and while that might mean resting key personnel, Bayliss was reluctant to include the bullish Stokes in that category.

It would be a brave man to bet against it, with Stokesy. I'm not sure we'd be game enough to drop him out anyway, we might get a thump on the head!

With him, we've got to watch what he does between the Tests to make sure he is available for all the matches. He allows us to play that extra spinner and the third pace bowler. He's very important.

– Trevor Bayliss, England Coach