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Should England persist with underperforming Bairstow?

February 21, 2024 13:52 IST
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In the three Tests so far in the series, Jonny Bairstow has an average of just 17.00

IMAGE: Jonny Bairstow has been woefully out of touch in the three Tests so far in the series, batting at an average of just 17. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Former captain Alastair Cook has urged England to drop wicketkeeper-batter Jonny Bairstow from the Ranchi Test against India, to "protect the player" who is having an abysmal series.

Bairstow, who is playing as a specialist batter, has endured a woeful run in the ongoing five-match series. His average reads 17.00 having registered scores of 0, 4, 25, 26, 37 and 10 in six innings.


"I'm taking him out of the firing line to protect the player, as I think he's had a tough tour so far and India is a tough place to keep going on the treadmill," Cook told TNT Sport.

"I'm not saying he'll never play Test cricket again, but it's good to have someone who's fresh of all the debris of this series so far," he added.

Cook backed Dan Lawrence to replace Bairstow as the all-rounder will step up out in Ranchi without any baggage.

"When you're not scoring runs, there's a build-up of pressure and momentum from certain bowlers on you, so I'd let Dan Lawrence have a go."

However, another former captain Michael Atherton feels the England team management will continue to back Bairstow to come good.

"(Bairstow) has been so central to this project that I don't see them leaving him out now, at a critical juncture," Atherton said on the 'Sky Sports Cricket Podcast'.

England trail the series 1-2.

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