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Bairstow released to play for Yorkshire

ESPNcricinfo staff

May 29, 2012

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Jonny Bairstow fends off a short ball during his brief stay, England v West Indies, 2nd Test, Trent Bridge, 3rd day, May 27, 2012
Jonny Bairstow's struggled with the short ball at Trent Bridge © Getty Images

Jonny Bairstow has been released by the ECB to play for Yorkshire in this week's County Championship match against Northamptonshire after limited time at the crease during his first two Tests involving West Indies.

Bairstow, who made his debut at Lord's, was given a torrid working over by Kemar Roach in England's first innings at Trent Bridge. He was struck on the body first ball before gloving a sharp bouncer short of the slips and eventually got a leading edge to mid-on off Roach. His performance began a debate about whether he has a significant issue against short-pitched bowling.

It is high unlikely that England will drop him for the final Test at Edgbaston; now that the series is won it is an ideal opportunity to give him further exposure at the top level. However, with South Africa providing the next Test opponents his place is not secure. His outing in the Championship will allow him a less intense atmosphere to regain some confidence although he will not be facing anyone approaching Roach's pace.

Bairstow's early-season runs for Yorkshire were one of the main reasons behind his call up for the first Test after Ravi Bopara was injured. He scored 182 against Leicestershire at Scarborough and an earlier hundred against Kent. Bairstow scored 16 in his first innings at Lord's, as well as showing his prowess in the covers with a direct-hit run-out to remove Kirk Edwards, before a more uncomfortable outing in Nottingham.

He made his international debut in September 2011 with a match-winning innings against India in the final ODI in Cardiff. He impressed for England Lions over the winter as well the main Twenty20 squad against Pakistan.

The England No. 6 slot in Test cricket has been the only position of much change in recent seasons with England failing to find a regular replacement for Paul Collingwood, who retired at the end of the 2010-11 Ashes series. Eoin Morgan was given the first chance before his loss of form in the UAE saw him dropped for England's tour of Sri Lanka. There, England opted to move Matt Prior to No. 6 and selected Samit Patel to bat at No. 7 as the second spinner.

Bairstow is the only member of England's side at Trent Bridge to be released for County Championship action this week although Steven Finn and Graham Onions, who were in the 13-man squad, will be available for Middlesex and Durham respectively. The pace-bowling could be vying for a place at Edgbaston if England decide to rest of their frontline quicks.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (May 31, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

Much as one shouldn't use limited-overs form as an indicator for Test form, it is actually good news that England have 8 ODIs and a T20 in between the WI Tests and the SA Tests. Presumably Bairstow will play most, if not all, of those games and will likely face a reasonable amount of short-pitched bowling during those games. If he can deal with it there then he just needs to find a way to transfer that to the Test arena. I think that people like Suresh Raina try too hard to suppress their attacking instincts and end up trying not to hit balls that they should hit. Hopefully Bairstow can find a way to curb his attacking nature enough to play sensible Test innings but still punish the balls that can be put away. He'll likely still be tested by by some short deliveries but then many good batsmen have been tested by good short-pitched bowling over the years.

Posted by prannsshu on (May 31, 2012, 4:15 GMT)

where is ravi bopara?? is he still suffering from injury????

Posted by JG2704 on (May 30, 2012, 23:33 GMT)

@axe_hay on (May 30 2012, 17:51 PM GMT) Compton has been in great form. Hildreth better than 2011 but certainly nowhere near test level standars

Posted by axe_hay on (May 30, 2012, 18:51 GMT)

So when will the selectors have faith on James Taylor ? If they think he is too young for a test cap then they can try Nick Compton or James Hildreth.They have been in superform this season and should be tried at the international level.

Posted by JG2704 on (May 30, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

I'd disagree re our batsmen. They don't have the same strain injury risks that our bowlers have and re KP , he is currently looking awesome. If you are going to rest a batsman surely the time to do so is when they are on a bad run

Posted by JG2704 on (May 30, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

@England fans - What do you reckon with this? I'd love to see them try the 5 man bowling attack but fear they never will. So re the number 6 position ,we all seem to be thinking that at this stage JB isn't good enough and I guess if the selectors are thinking the same thing , is there much point in picking him for the 3rd test if he is not trusted to do a job vs SA? My suggestion - if we must have a number 6 batsman - is Compton. The guy has been scoring runs consistently for Somerset in a higher division that JB , JT (last year) and RB and I feel he has the temperament to succeed. I feel if JB goes away and scores a stack of runs in his next Yorks game it won't erase his long term probs which Steyn and co will expose more ruthlessly

Posted by   on (May 30, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

hamish marschal is a good choice he has qualified for Eng if not Moeen Ali is a v good all rounder

Posted by RandyOZ on (May 30, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

Bairstow against the bouncer is like Bell against spin; utterly hopeless!!

Posted by Empty-Sequence on (May 30, 2012, 5:50 GMT)

This lad is Suresh raina of English Cricket!!

Posted by RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (May 30, 2012, 4:39 GMT)

what england can do is : Rest Pietersen or Trott. It will cete slots for Bairstow and also one slot for a relatively safer option like james taylor or nick compton who can be used against safrica with some experience in the next test if bairstow fails.

Golden chance for england.Everyone is talking about resting broad and anderson but they need to make sure that they have a no.6 against safrica who has at least played a test

Posted by jmcilhinney on (May 30, 2012, 4:06 GMT)

@CricketMaan on (May 29 2012, 14:29 PM GMT), you said it, not us. I could be wrong but I'm not sure that this will be a major issue. He's only really played two innings so far so he'll still be nervous. Given a bit more time he will pull a few short balls and gain some confidence and this will all be forgotten. I think that sometimes batsmen who do well in limited-overs formats will play aggressively against short-pitched bowling naturally and it's fighting those instincts in Test cricket that gets them into trouble. Sure, you don't want be playing irresponsible shots but if a ball is there to pull then play a pull shot. Once he learns which ones to pull and which to leave then he'll be in better shape. It's just a matter of how quickly that happens.

Posted by Meety on (May 30, 2012, 0:48 GMT)

@virendra_s - "...why he struggled so much whereas he looked very promising in the limited overs..." - this can atm easily be put down to less restrictions on bowlers in Tests v ODIs. A weakness against short pitched bowling is not easily exploited. @bobmartin - the flip side to the "quality" of bowlers is the juice that is in the early season pitches. I would say that atm, Bairstow is not the answer for the #6 spot, but should his keeping be maintained, he is the front runner for Prior's job.

Posted by landl47 on (May 29, 2012, 23:03 GMT)

I don't think Bairstow, at 22 years old, is ready for test cricket against the fearsome SA attack. I'd rather see a batsman with more experience take on the quicks- Michael Carberry opens regularly so he might be an option. Alternatively, England could go the route of putting in an extra bowler to attack the South Africans' somewhat vulnerable batting line-up. Either way, the young guys need to be playing now, so releasing Bairstow, Finn and Onions isn't a bad idea.

Posted by 5wombats on (May 29, 2012, 21:44 GMT)

Time to go back to the counties I'm afraid. But he'll be back. He's had a taste of the big time and that will energise him and motivate him. It will also motivate the many other up and coming future England players to work at their game - having seen Jonny get a go. We have discussed this and we think that Finn will get a go now. So, for the 3rd Test - Finn in for Bairstow. Bresnan plays at 7.

Posted by allblue on (May 29, 2012, 21:28 GMT)

Thank goodness Finn gets to play for Middlesex this week. It's hard to criticise the way that the England set-up handle their quicks these days, and Finn has definitely benefitted from the fitness and conditioning spell they put him on last year as well as Saker's input, but he's 23, fit as a butcher's dog and needs to be playing. Bowlers, particularly the fast men, need to get their rhythm and they can only get that from playing. We're nearly two months into the season and he's only had eight days cricket (the weather hasn't helped) and this after a winter mostly carrying drinks. He was a bit rusty in the CB40 at the weekend, I would suggest that in part is due to lack of match practice, and if he is going to play at Edgbaston he needs some good overs under his belt this week.

Posted by Tigg on (May 29, 2012, 21:05 GMT)

Hundreds against Leicester and Kent don't mean an awful lot. Bring in an in form Hildreth or Compton. They both have the techniques and the temprements to succeed against South Africa.

Posted by virendra_s on (May 29, 2012, 15:56 GMT)

Difficult to understand why he struggled so much whereas he looked very promising in the limited overs . I think he is given a chance in the third test and may be bat higher up the order.

Posted by bobmartin on (May 29, 2012, 15:53 GMT)

Bairstow has yet to face real high quality fast bowling, quite simply because there is virtually none in the county championship. His failures against the Windies will not have gone unnoticed by the Sth Africans and if he is included in the side to face them he can expect a torrid time. I think the jury is still out as to whether he is the man for the England number 6 slot. Morgan appears to have missed his chance by preferring the IPL to playing for his county, the Prior/Patel reshuffle didn't work, and Bopara has yet to prove he is back to fitness and form. Compton's name was being bandied about, but he now appears to have slipped off the radar as does Taylor. I suspect Bairstow will get another chance in the third test, but if Bopara comes good, he may well be the choice for the Sth African series.

Posted by CricketMaan on (May 29, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

What English batsman weak against bouncer?? I thought they were all immortals when it comes to playing fast pacy bowling!!!

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