You’ve read the comments. Now vent your spleen.
This really isn’t a good look. And it’s a distraction that England really don’t need. Our upcoming opponents, India and New Zealand, will interpret Jonny’s words as a sign that we’re feeling the pressure.
I’m not sure what’s up with Bairstow. He seems to have a persecution complex as I’ve always considered him to be an extremely popular cricketer. He sees enemies (or rather critics) where there are none. It was the same when he talked about his own form last year. It’s a shame as I really like the guy.
Jonny’s words aren’t just unwise because they’re going to put him and the team under even more pressure; they’re also unwise because they’re completely incorrect. I was at Lord’s on Tuesday and the home crowd were right behind their team. We cheered every shot … except the craps ones they got out to.
In general I’ve always found England fans to be extremely supportive – just look at the response Alastair Cook received in that test match at the Rose Bowl a few years back when his captaincy was under fire and he couldn’t buy a run. The mood in the country at large was fairly discontented, but the supporters at the ground gave him an excellent ovation.
Rarely have I heard home crowds in England boo their own players – an occurrence I’ve heard frequently down under. I once experienced a group of drunken Aussies abusing Glenn McGrath and calling him ‘useless’ and ‘a bottler’. That’s Glenn McGrath, one of the best bowlers of all time. They’d have eaten the likes of Jonny for breakfast.
The other thing that was weird about Bairstow’s comments is that he didn’t seem to know how many games England have lost. He kept saying the team had lost ‘two’ games or ‘a couple’ of games. Hmmm.
I could be wrong, but it you add up a defeat to Pakistan, a defeat to Sri Lanka, and a defeat to Australia, that amounts to three defeats. Am I right? Let’s hope Jonny’s shot selection in the next game is better than his Maths or his memory.
All will be forgiven, of course, if Bairstow and Co dispatch India on Sunday. And boy do we need a win. Because Bangladesh and Pakistan (our rivals for 4th place) play each other in the final round of group matches, one of these teams will definitely finish on at least 9 points. That means England need to win one of their two remaining games. We might even need to win both.
Beating India and New Zealand is going to be tough. However, one senses that the India game is the biggie. Fortunately the game is being played at Edgbaston, which has been a stronghold for England in recent years. Unfortunately, however, there will probably be more India supporters than England fans at the ground. It could be a surreal atmosphere which somewhat negates our home advantage.
What’s more, if the pitch is dry – and nobody needs reminding how hot it’s going to be in Birmingham over the next 48 hours – then it might suit Kohli’s team. Yuzvendra Chahal has been absolutely fantastic thus far in the World Cup. He’s going to be a real danger.
How do you see things going at Edgbaston? And do you think England will qualify in the end? Fortunately neither Pakistan nor Bangladesh are particularly strong; consequently I still fancy us to squeeze through.
However, if things go from bad to worse, and we fail to qualify for the semi finals of our own World Cup – despite the limitations of the other teams – then there will be a whole can of media whoop-ass thrown in the team’s direction.
Whisper it quietly (outside Jonny’s earshot) but they’ll deserve all the flak too.