Nick Knight Criticizes Jonny Bairstow’s Shot Selection And England’s Batting Approach
By CricShots - Feb 23, 2024 5:00 pm
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Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal in the ongoing Ranchi Test between India and England has sparked conversations about England’s batting strategy and Bairstow’s form in the series. Nick Knight, a former England opener, expressed frustration over Bairstow’s shot selection, particularly his decision to sweep against Ravichandran Ashwin, leading to his downfall.

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow

Knight’s criticism extends beyond Bairstow’s performance to England’s overall batting approach in the series. Despite winning the toss, England faced a challenging situation at 112 for 5 before lunch on Day 1, courtesy of impressive bowling from debutant Akash Deep.

In an interview with Jio Cinema, Knight questioned Bairstow’s choice of shot and emphasized the need for adaptability and game awareness in England’s approach. He criticized the overreliance on aggressive strokes, suggesting the importance of playing according to the situation and using diverse tactics, such as employing footwork instead of persistently opting for predetermined aggressive shots.

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“I just felt the ball before it, he cut Ashwin away… picking length well. It’s not so much that you shouldn’t be aggressive, it is just the way that you’re aggressive. And I just felt that (sweep shot) wasn’t the right option at the right time,” commented Nick Knight.

nick knight
Nick Knight

Bairstow’s form has been a subject of scrutiny throughout the series, with his inability to secure a fifty in the first four Test matches. His dismissal in Ranchi raised concerns about converting starts into substantial contributions. Despite an aggressive inning of 38 runs from 35 balls, Bairstow’s questionable shot choice cut short his time at the crease.

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Despite the early struggles, England managed to post 118 runs on the board in the first session, with Joe Root and Ben Foakes steadying the ship after lunch through a more orthodox approach.

Joe Root, in particular, showcased a century-worthy performance, guiding England to a total of 279/7. With a challenging start, England still managed to put a respectable score on the board. The hosts will be eager to dismiss the tailenders and gain control before the day’s play concludes.