July 11, 2017 / 11:23 AM / a month ago

Cook enjoying playing without captaincy, says coach Bayliss

Cricket - England vs South Africa - First Test - London, Britain - July 9, 2017 England's Alastair Cook in action Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

(Reuters) - England batsman Alastair Cook is enjoying himself after stepping down as test captain, head coach Trevor Bayliss said after his team beat South Africa by 211 runs in the first match of the series.

Cook resigned as test skipper in February after four and a half years in charge, in which he led his side in 59 tests and won two Ashes series. He scored 69 in the second innings against South Africa in his first match under new captain Joe Root.

"I was having a laugh watching him in the field, running around in the covers," Bayliss told reporters.

"He looked like he was enjoying it. For someone at this stage of his career, that's a good sign."

Bayliss said Root was nervous before the match and compared the two captains' styles of communicating with the team.

"Before this test he (Root) was a little more on edge than I've seen him before," Bayliss said.

"We spoke about Joe being himself, getting the message across in his way.

"He's proactive and confident and I thought that came across in the way he led the team.

"Root and Cook are different characters, they go about their batting in different fashion, so the dressing room was a little different. A lot of the messages were similar, just delivered in a different way."

The second test starts on Friday at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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