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Alastair Cook Advocates Resting Struggling Jonny Bairstow In Ranchi Test
By CricShots - Feb 21, 2024 2:36 pm
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Former England captain Alastair Cook has weighed in on the ongoing struggles of Jonny Bairstow in the Test series against India, suggesting that the team should consider dropping him for the upcoming Ranchi Test to “protect the player” amidst his poor form. Bairstow, who has been playing solely as a specialist batter, has had a dismal series, averaging just 17.00 across six innings with scores of 0, 4, 25, 26, 37, and 10.

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow

Expressing his concern, Alastair Cook emphasized the need to shield Bairstow from further scrutiny and pressure, given the challenging conditions in India. “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 stated in an interview with ‘TNT Sport’.

Alastair Cook stressed that resting Bairstow temporarily could allow him to regroup without the burden of recent struggles. He suggested Dan Lawrence as a potential replacement for Bairstow, highlighting Lawrence’s fresh perspective and ability to step up without the weight of prior performances.

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“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,” Alastair Cook remarked.

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook

However, former England captain Michael Atherton offered a contrasting view, indicating that the team management might persist with Bairstow, considering his integral role in the squad’s plans. Despite Bairstow’s lean patch, Atherton believes the management will back him to rediscover his form.

Looking ahead to the fourth Test, where England trails 1-2 in the series, Cook also proposed resting veteran pacers James Anderson and Mark Wood to manage their workload effectively. With the final match scheduled in Dharamsala, known for its favourable conditions for pace bowling, Cook advocated for preserving Anderson and Wood for the crucial finale.

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In their place, Alastair Cook advocated for the inclusion of Ollie Robinson and uncapped Gus Atkinson, citing Robinson’s control and Atkinson’s potential to inject freshness into the bowling attack. Michael Atherton echoed similar sentiments, suggesting that England might opt to rotate their bowling lineup to maintain vitality and adaptability for the upcoming challenges.