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Bairstow wants to move on from Brisbane sledging

Jonny Bairstow has said he wants to move on from the sledging episode that marred England's defeat in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane, but added he would consider taking the matter further if Australia "crossed the line" again later in the series.

Writing in his Daily Mail column, Bairstow denied that Australia's players bringing up his "headbutt" greeting of Cameron Bancroft earlier in the tour had contributed to his dismissal in the second innings at the Gabba, when he was caught at third man trying to ramp Mitchell Starc. Saying he had been "stitched up" by the episode, he admitted to being unsettled by Australia's verbal attack but said it was not the reason for the shot.

He also added that "some other things" were said at the time, which would stay in the middle. That followed Matt Prior's claims to BBC 5 Live earlier in the week that the England players were upset by what had gone on in Brisbane.

The unspoken implication is that, however much Steve Smith's Australians insist they do not "cross the line", England have reason to think that they did.

Bairstow did not want to "make an issue" of what else was said while he was batting, beyond suggesting that relations between the two sides had improved.

"Some other things, apart from the 'headbutt' business, were said by Australia in the middle but what they were is staying there. We move on. Hopefully it's gone now. I'm not making an issue of it. Only if they are said again would the matter go further. We just need to get on with trying to get back in this series.

"The second Test was played in a good spirit, tough but fair. There were some verbals from both teams but this time nothing crossed the line. Clashes like we saw in Adelaide are part of sport."

England's ten-wicket defeat in the first Test was overshadowed by claims made on the fourth evening that Bairstow had headbutted Bancroft, which brought a renewed focus on team socialising. While confirming there was nothing malicious in what Bairstow had done, Andrew Strauss said the players needed to be smarter on tour and instigated a midnight curfew - something which has been relaxed while the squad is in Perth.

"Did I feel as if I had been stitched up? Yes I did in many ways, but at the same time I honestly never thought of it as anything to worry about," Bairstow wrote. "I knew I hadn't done anything wrong and, more importantly, the team and management knew that too.

"Australia, as they have admitted, were trying to use it to get under my skin. Realising what they were doing was important. I never said a thing back to them It did get to me a bit when they started sledging me because I didn't know what they were talking about. But I can honestly say the shot I got out to in the second innings had nothing to do with it.

"I played a bad shot. You have to take a few risks when you're batting with the tail and the truth is I had forgotten they had a third man."

Bairstow's dismissal came as England lost their last four wickets for 10 runs, with Australia subsequently chasing down a target of 170 for no loss. They extended their lead to 2-0 in Adelaide, with a 120-run win.

Ahead of the Adelaide Test, Steven Smith was asked if Australia's players had crossed the line of what was acceptable at any stage and he replied, "I think everything was fine". England's coach, Trevor Bayliss, said he was uncomfortable with the level of sledging and would prefer that stumps microphones were turned down.

However, Prior, the former England wicketkeeper, claimed in a radio interview during the second Test that Australia had gone too far and the full story had yet to come out.

"There's a lot that's gone on that I think the England players are quite upset about - and rightfully from what I've heard," he said. "There's been a lot of chat on the pitch that hasn't got anything to do with cricket and frankly shouldn't be on a cricket pitch - stuff that hasn't come out, for various reasons."