INDIA TOUR OF ENGLAND, 2018
Bairstow is ready to play a new role as England's number 4 hitter in Test cricket. © Getty
It is a debate that has taken place over the last 12 months on social media and in meeting rooms in the Cricket Board of England and Wales. Now head coach Trevor Bayliss has stated that he is in favor of Jonny Bairstow moving the ranking to number four and giving up the gloves for the team's cause for a long time.
The biggest misery in England continued in the third test and collapsed and lost all 10 wickets in a session when he challenged 161 in his first innings for the victory over all hands except the hand. And although Bairstow, now one of the senior batsman of England, has been successful, the conviction is that the team should make better use of his talent by giving him a top position in the line-up.
The hesitation to promote him to four only derives from his wicketkeeping responsibilities. The long-held theory in cricket is that the requirement to stand behind the stumps all day long necessitates rest in the next innings. However, England is now in an unexpected opportunity to draw the agreement on this plan.
A broken finger received by Bairstow in the second inning of India meant that he had to leave the field with Jos Buttler, a specialist number seven until that moment, taking over from the stumps. Buttler, England's overcrowded goalkeeper, immediately took up the role and followed it one day with a Test hundred girl on day four.
If Bairstow is fit for the fourth test in Southampton, which starts on August 30, he will get four. James Vince, the Hampshire batsman of 13 Tests, has been called as cover. Buttler continues with the gloves regardless. While Bayliss accepts, Bairstow will not hesitate to distance himself from a role in which he has immeasurably improved, but the movement comes with the team in mind, not the individual.
"It will be difficult to convince Jonny," said Bayliss. "That's a decision that's taken from the team's point of view, he's a world-class contender, we know that one of the difficult things can convince Jonny of this.
"I think he has improved his love in the past few years from where he was when we were in South Africa, he is aware of it, he has done some hard work, Jos will be a little hard do a lot of work in one day cricket, but 100 over-a-day tracking can be difficult, day after day, test after test, there are other options. "
This Bairstow riddle is a riddle that divides the opinions and the numbers are such that both sides of this gap have proper ammunition.
When Bairstow is in possession of the gloves, an average of 42.33. Without them, that falls drastically to 28.96. On the other hand, it can not be ignored that his period as a batsman only took place between 2012 and 2015, when a more technical defective iteration caught the test cricket. The player who retrieved all five of his Test-hundreds was the new and improved Johnny 2.0 that came back in 2016 and has never looked back ever since.
There is also the whim that all 11 international hundreds of Bairstow have been scored without the burden of holding: those five against the red ball have all been in the first innings of a test. Again, that is not so strange: batten becomes more difficult as a match continues.
Another thing to consider will be the mood of Bairstow. He is a stubborn professional who may be restless by taking something from him. He can see it as a light – that he is unable to excel in both. In turn, his shot could strike. Bayliss does not agree – "that may be his fear, it is certainly not our fear – but this is where the Australia deserves its corn, which it accepts.
"It would certainly be a deep conversation with someone like that." Jonny is a reasonable guy. If that was the way we wanted to go … in the long run, he wants to play Test Cricket. We know he wants to keep, but there would be a lot of explaining and chatting. "
The move would also allow Ollie Pope to shift the order. The 20-year-old slammed at four in his first two tests, despite never having done so for his county Surrey. In fact, he had not taken the 23rd place in first-class cricket before his test debut, when he entered the ninth when England was 32 to 2.
A bad shot in the second innings of England – flashing on a ball that should have been left alone to fall for 16 – spoke of a player who operated mainly in the middle order. Bayliss is impressed by what he has seen from close by, but appreciates that a lower spot will bring him home more.
"He is a young guy with a good head on his shoulders and I think he will give himself every chance to be a good international cricketer." The resignation of a young man in the second inning – whether it's a bloodshot or whatever – I think he has shown enough in the course of time while practicing and in his posture and in his intelligence about the game that I am pretty sure he will sharpen his technique.
"He did not beat higher than six for Surrey, so it was a big question to get into the international cricket and hit four, but in the short time he was about to be a good international cricketer, we probably want to start it, a little lower, but the gap was at No. 4. Of course, Jonny is also an option, which makes Ollie a little lower, these are all things that we have discussed. "