Peter Moores defended the performance of England spinner Monty Panesar during the first Test defeat against India.
Panesar was supposed to be the key man on the final day in Chennai when the home side chased a daunting victory target of 387 on a worn pitch at the Chepauk Stadium.
But he finished wicketless from 20 disappointing overs as Sachin Tendulkar's unbeaten hundred inspired a famous six-wicket victory and handed India an unexpected lead in the two-match series.
England coach Moores remains confident 26-year-old Panesar, who was playing his 34th Test, still has time on his side to develop into a world class left-arm spinner.
"If you look at Monty's record in Test match cricket it compares very favourably to a lot of spinners who have started out in the game and he's still very young in the game," said Moores.
"People talk about him developing and changing pace and that takes time, we know that with spinners. They have to add things to their game as batters do and all cricketers do to stay ahead of the game."
Panesar's disappointing display on Monday follows criticism from Shane Warne last summer, who claimed England's leading spinner had not learned from his time in international cricket and had simply played the same Test repeatedly.
But Moores, who is hopeful Mushtaq Ahmed's appointment as a part-time spin coach next summer can speed Panesar's development, has refused to become embroiled in a war of words with Australia's leg-spin legend.
"Shane Warne can have his view, but I work with Monty on a day-to-day basis and he works very hard at his game," added Moores.
"He wants to develop his game and he is developing his game and he's at that point in his career where he is learning all the time.
"Once you learn something, you practice it and then you can start to use it in a game. It's not an overnight process.
"One of the keys to Monty in this Test match is that he's not had a run of games and I don't think it was as easy as the pitch looked because otherwise Harbhajan (Singh) and (Amit) Mishra would have run riot and they didn't."
Moores felt the disrupted preparation to the Test series, which denied England a warm-up match when they returned home to consider the rest of the tour following the terror attacks on Mumbai, had not helped Panesar in particular.
Panesar had been pencilled in to play club cricket in Sri Lanka as preparation for this tour and when the England and Wales Cricket Board could not come to an agreement, he was sent with the Performance Programme Squad to Bangalore who also returned home after the Mumbai attacks.
"I have sympathy for Monty, who probably hasn't had a competitive game for four months because we didn't have our warm-up match so that's difficult for a spinner who wants to bowl some overs in match conditions," continued Moores.
"As you go through your overs you get into a rhythm so that's quite challenging for someone who is suddenly charged with the job of bowling out an Indian Test match team that are playing very good cricket."
The second and concluding Test between India and England starts on Friday in Mohali.
Conditions at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium may be less spin-friendly than Chennai, which could mean the tourists select just one spinner with Graeme Swann or Panesar making way for fit-again seamer Stuart Broad.
Owais Shah may also get his chance to establish himself in the Test side at the expense of the disappointing Ian Bell.