Shane Warne questions England selectors for not picking Jonny Bairstow in the Test side
Jonny Bairstow is one of the most experienced English Test cricketers right now but hasn't played much since 2020.
Updated - Jun 29, 2021 2:03 pm
Shane Warne has criticized the England selectors for not picking Jonny Bairstow for the home Test series against New Zealand in early June. The case of the Yorkshire wicketkeeper-batsman is quite a unique one. The talented batsman is a permanent member of the white-ball set-up but somehow hasn’t got regular opportunities in the red-ball game.
During an interaction, Warne once again addressed the England selectors’ choices to rest and pick some players for a particular series. In Bairstow’s case, the situation is pretty much absurd, to say the least. For playing 74 Tests and 4197 runs in the format, Bairstow should make it to the XI based on that, considering the underperforming and inexperienced middle-order. However, the Yorkshire player’s average of 34.1 might have not sat well with the selectors.
Warne also went on to say that no English batter has been able to grab the opportunities and seal their place in Test XI. In June, England lost the series against New Zealand 1-0 and their batting performance in the second Test in Edgbaston was a perfect example of their instability in the English batting unit in Tests.
They’re so worried about the performances of everyone, they’re resting people: Shane Warne
“No one has grabbed that opportunity,” said Warne. “Why isn’t Jonny Bairstow playing Test cricket? He’s actually performed extremely well. I look at England and I think they’re worried about their tactics, I don’t think they’re playing aggressive enough cricket, they’re so worried about the performances of everyone, they’re resting people,” Warne said on the Road to the Ashes podcast, in conversation with Mark Waugh and Michael Vaughan.
Former English captain Michael Vaughan supported Warne’s sentiment on the Bairstow issue, summing up the last few months of the cricketer. After playing fairly well in the Test series in Sri Lanka, Bairstow was sent back to England to get some rest, because he had to feature in the IPL. On his return to the Test series in India, his form dropped. Vaughan also explained the bizarre reasoning of England selectors for not picking Bairstow in the series against New Zealand.
“On Jonny Bairstow, Jonny Bairstow had his Test place back against Sri Lanka. He played okay in those two games. He then went home to walk his dog. Got his place back after 18 months, he did okay, he’s in the team, then he went back home and missed the first two Tests against India and came back and went nought, nought, nought and now he’s out the side because he went to the IPL and they weren’t going to pick anybody for the New Zealand series that went to the IPL,” Vaughan added.