Jon Lewis praised England’s use of the Trent Bridge conditions despite rueing missed opportunities on the first day against New Zealand.
The hosts won the toss and chose to field but were blunted by an opening partnership worth 84 between Tom Latham and Will Young, and an unbeaten fourth wicket stand of 149 between Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell.
Four missed catches in the slips did little to help matters, but bowling coach Lewis opted to laud the chances created by the bowling unit.
“I thought there was threat all day,” Lewis said, “I thought the boys went past the bat, I thought they caught the edge quite a lot as well.
“The guys worked incredibly hard to try and get the rewards they wanted but we were a little bit short today of what we would have liked.
“The most important thing about the toss was that it was the aggressive play, put them into bat and keep the foot on the gas after last week.
“Unfortunately we missed a couple of chances, but that’s cricket. If you are courageous enough to stand [in the slips], sometimes you are going to catch them, sometimes you aren’t. I don’t think there is anybody that has a 100% record in the slips, and the bowlers know it is going to happen.
“Of course they will be frustrated, but they will come back fighting. We could have easily bowled them out for 250 and we would be sat in a very different position”
Lewis did, however, admit that his side needed to find a method to be more penetrative with an aging ball.
Mitchell hit Jack Leach for six into the pavilion seats after tea, with the ball landing in a beverage in the stands.
It remained unchanged, however, through to the 80 over mark.
“It is obvious that the ball is going soft and out of shape but it is going through the hoops," he said.
"We have got to find a way to take wickets with the balls we are given to play with.
“It did swing a little bit less [after landing in a drink]. When the ball goes soft it is hard to go past the bat with any pace, so it changes the game a little bit. Every game the ball has done that.”
New Zealand’s Devon Conway meanwhile, who made 46 before inside edging James Anderson to Ben Foakes, was encouraged by the approach of the Blackcaps top order.
“We spoke about trying to be a little bit more aggressive and have a positive mindset and that intent to score,” he said.
“If we had won the toss we probably would have bowled first. It looked green on top but, the thing is, we tried to change our mindset to say let’s just play what is in front of us and not try and think too much about the surface. Just try and react to the bowling and adjust accordingly.
“It was about controlling that mindset and being positive throughout as much as possible.”
England versus New Zealand at our historic home
From James Anderson ripping through Australia, to Joe Root and Jos Buttler tons, day four fireworks are frankly commonplace at our historic home.