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England left their coach Trevor Bayliss incredulous, embarrassed and hurt today as they hit rock-bottom with their collapse to 58 all out against New Zealand.
Bayliss could scarcely believe what he was watching as a succession of England’s most talented batsmen got their feet stuck in the crease and failed to negate the swinging pink ball against Trent Boult (six for 32) and Tim Southee (four for 25).
At one point, England were headed not just for the worst total in their own 141-year Test history but the lowest of all time by anyone as they capitulated to 23 for eight.
From 27 for nine, last pair Craig Overton and James Anderson more than doubled the score, but by close on day one of New Zealand’s inaugural day-night Test at Auckland’s Eden Park the hosts had already put England’s sixth-lowest total into stark context as captain Kane Williamson (91no) led the way to 175 for three.
Asked to explain England’s woeful batting, Bayliss said: “I can’t, it was a very poor effort. It wasn’t good enough.
“I thought New Zealand bowled extremely well and we batted equally as badly.”
The Australian admitted too that he was embarrassed.
“Certainly and I probably wasn’t the only one in the England changing room either,” he said.
“Certainly, it hurts. I thought we made a lot of mistakes with our footwork.
“The ball was swinging a little bit, but when the ball’s full it’s as simple as it gets, you’ve got to play forward.
“A lot of our guys were out from behind the crease to fairly full balls.”
He added that it “allows the ball to swing and then we were nowhere, like we were rabbits in the headlights.”
There was minor consolation when Stuart Broad became only the second Englishman to reach 400 Test wickets.
It was a reminder that, with Broad in career-best full flow at Trent Bridge, it is not so long ago that Bayliss saw England skittle Australia for 60 to clinch the 2015 Ashes.
“We’ve been on the other side of scores like that and it’s euphoria,” he said.
“This is the opposite.
“Someone sneezes and the rest of the guys catch a cold, don’t they?
“Everyone was making the same type of mistakes — feet not moving properly, decision-making not as it normally is.”
He did not lose his temper though.
“It’s never anger — disappointment, obviously,” he said.
“We’ve got to take it on the chin, go away, talk about it, work out what we can do better.
“I think we’ve got the best team we can pick from England here.”
Chief destroyer Boult was astounded too by the pace of events on his way to new career-best figures after Williamson put England in.
“Not in our wildest dreams did we think we’d win the toss and get them out in the first session,” said the left-armer.
“It’s right up there, just a great day … very, very good fun.
“To not let the foot off the throat and not let the pressure off them … I saw the scoreboard of 23 for eight at one point, [which] was pretty surreal.”
England mustered two wickets in the final session under lights and Bayliss believes they should have had a third when Chris Woakes felt he got a fingertip on a straight drive to deflect it onto the non-striker’s stumps, with Williamson short of his ground on 64.
“Out,” said the England coach.
“He got a finger on it.
“Everyone knows Woakesy is a guy who wouldn’t cheat anybody out.”
It was a moment symptomatic of a day when absolutely nothing went right for England.
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