'We might get a thump' - Bayliss jokes about dropping Stokes
England coach Trevor Bayliss is not considering resting Ben Stokes from the Test side, joking that doing so could earn him "a thump in the head".
Stokes took six wickets in total and supplied an impressive 85 runs in England's seconds innings to help secure a 22-run victory in the first Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong.
Bayliss is set to rotate the seamers in his pace attack across the next match against the Tigers and the impending five-game series against India, but would not rule out the chance of the all-rounder, who has built a reputation as a fiery character, featuring in them all.
"It would be a brave man to bet against it with Stokesy. I'm not sure we're game enough to drop him out anyway - we might get a thump in the head," joked the head coach. "He's a resilient person, let alone cricketer.
"We've got to watch what he does between the Tests to make sure he's available for all the matches."
The evident confidence of Bayliss in Stokes is exemplified in his belief the 25-year-old can develop into one of the greatest all-rounders, pointing to his improvement playing against spin.
"He's only young in his career. It's going to be easier to judge the longer he goes. The potential of the guy - he could be right up there with some of the all-time best all-rounders. The strides he's made here on the subcontinent playing spin have been top class.
"It wasn't all that long ago we were wondering how he might go on spin-friendly pitches but he's a guy that works extremely hard in the nets.
"I think it's his defence against spin that has improved out of sight. In the past he probably hasn't had a lot of footwork, playing from the crease and backing his eyes and hands.
"But as we saw in the one-dayers and the Test he defended really well off the front foot - he got right forward and smothered the ball before it had a chance to spin and jump past the outside edge."