Ben Stokes backs Jonny Bairstow to come good in remaining IND vs ENG Tests
By SMCS - Feb 23, 2024 9:00 am
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England captain Ben Stokes backed the batter Jonny Bairstow, who is struggling with the bat in the ongoing Test series against India. The all-rounder said that he wouldn’t judge batters over a short period but on their long-term contribution to the team as well. However, Bairstow is facing intense scrutiny before the fourth Test against India in Ranchi, which begins on Friday, February 23. He is yet to score a fifty in the series and returned with scores of 0 & 4 in the recently concluded Rajkot Test as well.

Jonny Bairstow

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Stokes said that Bairstow has been an integral part of their Test squad and thus deserves to be backed. As quoted by The Cricketer, he said: “If batters have a tough time over a short period, it will come under scrutiny don’t look at it like that. I look at what Jonny has contributed for a long period of time since I’ve been captain. He has money in the bank, he’s a quality player. He’s someone who has been very integral to what we have done.”

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After England’s 434-run defeat in Rajkot, head coach Brendon McCullum also backed Bairstow to do well in the final two Tests. Stokes also explained right-arm seamer Ollie Robinson’s inclusion in place of Mark Wood for the Ranchi Test. He further claimed that the former’s accuracy and release point should help him on a spin-favouring pitch as well.

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow played a blistering knock

“You look at the player Mark is, especially with the ball, you want someone like that operating at 100 per cent. You want to be able to keep players like that on the field operating at that level. Bringing Robbo in gives us good options, especially looking at this wicket. I feel like the spin will be assisted but I also feel having two seamers gives us a good chance purely because of Ollie Robinson’s release height and his relentlessness with his areas,” Ben Stokes concluded.