Jonny Bairstow to be benched in the Ranchi Test? Alastair Cook shares interesting update

Updated - 21 Feb 2024, 02:51 PM

Jonny Bairstow departs at Rajkot
Jonny Bairstow departs at Rajkot (Credits: Instagram)

Former England captain Alastair Cook who stands as the last foreign team captain to win a red-ball series in India back in 2012, feels that the Brendon McCullum-led management should drop aggressive middle-order batsman Jonny Bairstow from the English playing XI for the 4th Test in Ranchi to protect him from enduring further embarrassment in the on-going series.

Jonny Bairstow has had a tour to forget until now as he has looked like a shadow of himself, not being able to score as many runs as McCullum and skipper Ben Stokes would have expected. Bairstow along with Joe Root have faced difficulties scoring runs so far and that has directly impacted England’s result in the last two Tests in Vizag and Rajkot where the visitors blew away the lead they took in the 1st Hyderabad Test.

“I’m taking him out”, Alastair Cook opines on Bairstow’s position in the 4th Test

Bairstow had scores of 37, 10, 25, 26, 0, and 4 across the six innings from the crucial number 5 position. It has intrigued Alastair Cook to claim that the right-hand batter should be excluded from the side in the next Test match starting from February 23rd onwards at the JSCA stadium, claiming that India is always a tough place to get going, especially when someone is going through a lean patch.

“I’m taking him out of the firing line to protect the player, as I think he’s had a tough tour so far and India is a tough place to keep going on the treadmill. I’m not saying he’ll never play Test cricket again, but it’s good to have someone who’s fresh of all the debris of this series so far.” – Cook told TNT Sports. 

It is not that England have an incapable batting order but it’s just that the middle order is severely out of form. Only Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, and Ben Stokes to some extent have showcased individual brilliance and it goes without saying that if Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root start to fire from the middle-order, the Three Lions will become an even more dangerous side for the Indian bowlers to handle.

They had a very good chance of displaying the aggressive Bazball in the Rajkot Test which had a rather batting-friendly track as compared to the previous venues where the ball spun quite a lot. With the pitch report in Ranchi claiming that Batters are expected to get assistance until day 3, it will be an important toss to win for Ben Stokes.

While Cook wants Dan Lawrence to come in, Michael Atherton wants England to keep backing Jonny Bairstow

When asked about the possible replacement for Jonny Bairstow at number 5, Alastair Cook brought forward the name of 26-year-old Dan Lawrence who is known for his exceptional wrist work. However, his senior from the national side, Michael Atherton has a different view, claiming that McCullum and Stokes should keep backing Bairstow as he has been a central part of their Bazball project.

“Bairstow has been so central to this project that I don’t see them leaving him out now, at a critical juncture.” – Atherton said via Sky Sports Cricket. 


Alastair Cook Ben Stokes England National Cricket Team IND vs ENG 2024 India National Cricket Team Jonny Bairstow Michael Atherton