Jonny Proves A Point

“Thanks for coming Jonny. Maybe we’ll give you a ring if we’re one short next month”.

You’ve got to feel sorry for Jonny Bairstow. He’s the third best batsman in the country (after Root and Cook), he had a record breaking 2016 as England’s test batsman-keeper, he averages a healthy 37 in ODIs at an excellent strike-rate of 91, and yet he can’t get into England’s first choice ODI side.

And worse still, when he does actually get a game, they ask someone else to keep wicket! The bloody cheek of it.

If I was Jonny I’d be an angry man. He isn’t even allowed to play for Yorkshire when he wants to. And yesterday he took his frustrations out on Ireland’s bowlers. His unbeaten 72 off 44 balls was brutal. It was like watching, erm, Jos Buttler.

Even though he wasn’t man of the match yesterday – Joe Root also scored 70 odd and also took 3-52 with the ball – the main talking point was undoubtedly Bairstow. Everyone knows what a good player he is in all forms. The problem is that England have too many talented players to choose from and haven’t yet thought of a way to squeeze twelve into eleven. Perhaps they should consult the Allen Stanford school of accounting?

England won yesterday’s ODI as expected – thanks largely to useful knocks from Bairstow, the skipper, and the test skipper. However, at least Ireland put up more of a fight this time. Ian Porterfield did the right thing by asking England to bat first, and when Paul Sterling took a fancy to Willey (no euphemism intended) it briefly looked like Ireland might pull off (definitely no euphemism intended) a shock victory.

Fortunately for us Liam Plunkett had a good day – his 3-23 was excellent – and Kevin O’Brien had a bad one. After a promising opening partnership of 68, Ireland lost wickets at regular intervals and fell 85 runs short of England’s competitive 328.

It was a shame for the Irish in many ways because they played Adil Rashid a lot better this time. Unfortunately they got into a tangle against the much more straightforward off spin of Joe Root. It reminded me of the days when England would actually manage to keep out Shane Warne for a change only to come a cropper against Colin Funky Miller (or someone equally annoying and innocuous). Sigh.

At least Ireland gave their fans something to cheer about this time though. Porterfield made a run a ball 82 – a real captain’s knock – and the sun even came out for a while in the afternoon.

As for England, I guess we’ve had a useful workout before the real action starts in a few week’s time. I wonder if the management know what our best team is? I found it very interesting that they left out Moeen Ali. With Joe Root picking up 3 wickets, and the likes of Ben Stokes to come back into the team, it’s hard to see Mo getting his place back – which is something of a shame, as he’s never let England down with the ball in one-day cricket. In fact, he’s a much more consistent white ball spinner than he is a test spinner.

And then there’s the Jonny Bairstow dilemma. Has he done enough to supplant the talented Sam Billings as our reserve white ball keeper? The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter. Neither of them are going to play anyway.

James Morgan


  • Bairstow probably has move back in front of Billings in terms of next reserve for the Champions Trophy but like you say what does it matter?

    Seen some people suggesting England play him instead of Moeen Ali but he would be wasted at 7 and can’t offer the extra bowling option Mo does. Even if England put him higher it risks Buttler ODI SR 118 coming in too late and we don’t want to go back to those days.

    If Bairstow wasn’t a Test regular he would probably get a few more games against the WI but join other other Test players in pre NZ-Ashes resting

  • It’s good to be awash with talent and hard on Jonny Bairstow because he’s been messed around a lot in past days. But, saving him for the test team is no bad thing in itself because that is what matters most. Joe Root is doing too much. You’ll see.

    • Joe should not play any of the games against the West Indies in September. He should get a month or so off before the Ashes tour. But now he’s captain he’ll have to play regardless one imagines :-(

      • I don’t think he will, with the CT out of the way and two years until the World cup I think they will rest him like they did for the Australia ODIs.

        I guess he won’t be the only one will be interesting to see the reaction of the English live cricket viewing public when the IPL boys get rested. WI is an unappetising opposition to start with then not even the full England team. I won’t be even looking at tickets until the squad is announced.

        • Root may miss the ODIs but we’re supposed to be playing 3 tests against the Windies too (the last of which begins on 7th September!)

          One of these tests in the day-might one at Edgbaston. I don’t think Harrison / Graves will want the skipper to miss a game they’ll want to be a commercial success.

          • Would be typical ECB to rest a Yorkshire player for a Test at Headingley and they won’t. If the a batting Test captain needs to miss a Test then we are playing too much

            • I don’t think there’s any doubt that we’re playing too much – especially the guys that play all three formats :-)

  • For all the faults of the ECB management of some of the players’ workloads in the early part of the season – and it drives me mad too – I’m afraid I can’t get too excited about Jonny bashing around the Ireland attack. It should have as much relevance as Ian Bell scoring a stack load of runs against Bangladesh in early 2005, thus earning selection for a certain series a few months later, i.e. none.

    • Manohar to serve out his term so Clarke will have to wait until next year – but we will be here again in July next year….

  • How is it hard to see moeen coming back into the side, only droppe because they wanted 4 seamers and didn’t have stokes. Joe root takin wickets against Ireland is no reason to drop mo


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