Jonny Bairstow and Kusal Mendis were involved in a heated exchange of words during the ongoing ICC World Cup 2023 match between England and Sri Lanka at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. England had been bundled out for just 156 runs, but they were determined to keep the intensity up with the ball.
Bairstow, in particular, was keen to put the Sri Lankan batsmen under pressure, and he engaged in a verbal battle with Mendis during the third over. The England batter said something to the Sri Lankan captain while walking past him, and Mendis did not shy away from giving it back.
The exchange appeared to have worked, as Mendis was dismissed shortly after for 11 runs. He got a leading edge off David Willey’s delivery and was caught by Jos Buttler. England also removed Kusal Perera early on, with Willey drawing first blood for his team. If the Jos Buttler-led side can pick up a few more wickets, they will be in with a chance of winning the match and keeping their hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive.
— Cricket Dekh Lo (@Hanji_CricDekho) October 26, 2023
Bairstow’s sledging of Mendis is a reminder of the importance of gamesmanship in cricket. It can be a powerful tool to unsettle the opposition and disrupt their rhythm. However, it is important to strike a balance, as too much sledging can backfire and lead to a backlash.
Mendis’ early dismissal is a testament to the effectiveness of Bairstow’s sledging. It is also a reminder of the importance of mental toughness in cricket. Batsmen who are able to stay focused and composed under pressure are more likely to succeed.
The heated exchange between Jonny Bairstow and Kusal Mendis was one of the highlights of the match. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the game unfolds, and whether England can overcome their batting woes to claim an important victory.