England Under-19s head coach Andy Hurry is looking for improvements with bat and ball when the second 'Test' against India Under-19s gets underway at New Road tomorrow.
Hurry felt the Under-19s were “caught with their trousers down” after losing by a 334-run margin at Chesterfield with Worcestershire's Josh Tongue part of the team and taking four wickets in the game.
The result rewarded the dominance of the touring team, who had scored 519 in the first innings and bowled their hosts out twice, the second time for 163 after setting a hypothetical target of 498 to win.
But Hurry is hoping lessons will have been learnt and put into practice during the next four days at Worcestershire CCC's headquarters.
He said: "Having won the toss on Sunday we needed to maximise the conditions available on that first morning but we did not get the ball in the right areas enough times to challenge the Indians.
“We could not maintain that momentum of winning the toss and from then on we were always behind the game.
“When we had the chance to bat we got people in but not enough people went on to get scores and make a significant impact towards getting us parity so we found ourselves on the back foot throughout the game.
“Great credit to the Indian players who demonstrated the basics better than we did with the bat, the ball and in the field. They have hit good areas more consistently with the ball, they have taken responsibility with the bat and looked to go big and took their opportunities.
“But there are a number of things to take away and the great thing about playing a Test series is that you get the opportunity to take those learnings and measure them again in a second match (at New Road).
“From my point of view the things we need to take forward are very simple. It is about making sure our bowlers get the ball in the right areas more often and that our batters understand how they are going to get in and grow their innings and go big.
“We were competitive in the Under-19 series in India during the winter but with a slightly different group of players here we have been caught with our trousers down a little bit.
“We have the potential but we have to make sure we are in a position to start well with the bat and the ball next time.
“It is a bit of a wake-up call. But it means we will have a stronger awareness of what we are coming up against and make sure we are sharp and ready to deal with that.”
England skipper Max Holden, who scored his side's only half century at Chesterfield, echoed Hurry's sentiments about the need to improve.
Holden, who is on loan to Northamptonshire from Middlesex, said: “We have been outplayed with bat and ball really so there is a lot of learning for us to take from the game.
"We need to improve quickly with the next Test coming up quickly. The Indians got a lot of momentum early on and it is really hard to fight back at times when that is the case.
“There have been some bright spots. There were periods in the game where we were competing hard but there are a lot of areas we can improve on.
“We can play a lot better. We need those periods where we are competitive to last a bit longer and be a bit more consistent because in four-day cricket a few bad sessions can cost you the game.”
But Holden does not believe it is beyond England’s scope to bounce back and square the series when the sides meet again at New Road.
He said: “India are a very strong side. We played them in the winter in their conditions and were competitive and with the talent we have in our side we are more than capable of competing with them and beating them on our day.”
Tongue was only selected for the first Test but there is still plenty of other young talent for Worcestershire cricket fans to watch over the next four days.
Admission is FREE at New Road for all four days.