England’s decision to not choose Jonny Bairstow for the first two Tests of the four-match Test series between India and England didn’t go well with the former England skipper Geoffrey Boycott.
Refusing to accept that Bairstow needed rest after the Sri Lanka tour, Geoffrey Boycott bashed the England team management for not including the wicket-keeper batsman in the squad for the first two Tests.
Despite registering the second-highest score in England in the last series against Sri Lanka that the team won 2-0, Bairstow did not get a chance to play in the first two Tests against India. He scored 138 runs in the series at an average of 46.33.
England’s decision to not include Bairstow in the team invited a lot of criticism. Several seniors players had criticised the England team management’s decision for the treatment they gave to Bairstow.
“So I get Buttler leaving India but it is poor that Bairstow is not replacing him for the second Test. It has to be because Ed Smith (chief selector) wants to see this other kid, Foakes, get a go. Smith clearly does not want Jonny playing as a keeper-batsman,” Boycott said in an interaction with The Telegraph.
“He (Bairstow) has always said he wants to follow his father as a keeper-batsman. He does not want to be just a specialist batsman but Smith has made that decision and I feel it is unfair. Jonny has missed his opportunity to keep wicket again and England should be ashamed of what they have done to him. It seems as if England bring him in and push him out when it suits them. He must feel like a yo-yo,” he added.
Bairstow further added that Bairstow was in a supreme form and that the unnecessary rest period was forced upon him.
“Bairstow was not exactly looking for a rest, it has been forced on him. He would have been queuing up to stay in India and take the gloves. Jonny scored runs in Sri Lanka, he is used to India after two years in the IPL and he has a proven track record.
“You would think England would welcome competition for places. It is good for the team. If Jonny came in and kept well and scored runs Buttler would realise he has to keep playing well to stay in the side.
“But no. That chance has gone and England will be weaker at a point when they should pick their best team to go 2-0 up in the series,” Boycott said.
England had earlier justified their decision by saying that they have adopted a policy to rotate their multi-format players to give the players enough time to recover their mental and physical strength.