Ashes 2023: Bairstow Under Scrutiny as Sangakkara Comes to His Defense

7 July, 2023

The opening day of the third Test match between Australia and England at Headingley was a captivating affair, with the spoils ultimately being shared between the two teams. However, the spotlight fell on England’s Jonny Bairstow, who found himself in the midst of criticism yet again after a lackluster display behind the stumps. In light of this, former Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batter Kumar Sangakkara has come to Bairstow’s rescue, urging him to work harder to improve his skills.

Bairstow’s Ashes campaign has not gone according to plan, and his performance on the first day in Leeds only added to his troubles. The wicketkeeper-batter had a difficult time as he missed a tough chance to dismiss Steve Smith early in the day and then made a mess of a routine catch to remove Travis Head. Follow your favourite Cricket team with attractive betting odds from Dafabet.

While these errors did not have a significant impact on the outcome of the game, Sangakkara, renowned for his cricketing acumen, expects more from Bairstow. Recognizing the challenges of keeping wickets in England, Sangakkara emphasized the need for Bairstow to train diligently to enhance his skills.

“Keeping to fast bowling with the wobble in England is not an easy task. However, Jonny Bairstow is a talented keeper, and we have analyzed his technique extensively based on his previous games. It’s fair to criticize his recent performance behind the stumps. He needs to put in more effort and work harder to gain confidence and rhythm in his keeping because his role is of utmost importance,” Sangakkara commented during an interview on Sky Sports.

It is important to note that England possesses an alternative option in Ben Foakes, a highly regarded wicketkeeper-batter waiting for an opportunity. As Bairstow faced accusations of having “butter fingers,” England’s former captain Joe Root endured a forgettable day in Leeds. Known for his safe pair of hands, Root also dropped a few catches, including a crucial one of Mitchell Marsh. This particular drop proved to be costly, as the Australian all-rounder went on to unleash a scintillating century after being granted a lifeline on just 12 runs.

As the Ashes contest continues to unfold, Bairstow will need to demonstrate improved performance behind the stumps to quell the doubts surrounding his abilities. The scrutiny and pressure will only intensify, and the Yorkshireman must respond by dedicating himself to training and regaining his confidence. Meanwhile, Root and the rest of the England team will also be seeking to rectify their fielding errors and produce a stronger display to regain the upper hand in the crucial Test match at Headingley. Get the latest updates from the world of cricket only on Dafabet Sports.