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Brendon McCullum Stands by Jonny Bairstow Amidst Form Concerns

England coach Brendon McCullum believes Jonny Bairstow can recover. Bairstow scored 0 and 4 in the 434-run drubbing in Rajkot, continuing his uncomfortable fourth tour of India, averaging 17.00 from six innings.

At the start of the series, Ben Stokes projected Bairstow’s success. Since Ben Foakes was taking the gloves, the England captain thought Bairstow might get a purple patch as he did in 2022 when he became the original Bazball poster boy. “We saw what we managed to get out of him, and I don’t want him to worry about anything other than batting at five, getting runs, and what’s in front of him in the here and now,” said Stokes. It went wrong.

Bairstow Likely to Retain Spot

Since England is down 2-1 in the series, they will have to make some selection decisions before the fourth Test in Ranchi on Friday. However, McCullum made it sound like Bairstow would keep his spot in the XI, which would be his 99th Test cap.

McCullum said, “You know I can’t answer that, I haven’t even seen the wicket,” when asked where Bairstow was. “But I’d anticipate Jonny would be playing, yes.”

Harry Brook dropped out of the tour to take care of family business, so Dan Lawrence is the only extra batter on the team. Brook is not expected to come back. But Lawrence hasn’t played yet for McCullum and Stokes.

England wants Bairstow to have as many chances as possible to get back to how powerful he was last summer. In Stokes’s first six games, he hit four hundred, including two hundred in the one-off Test against India at Edgbaston. He got 681 runs at a rate of 96.59 per game and an average of 75.66 per game.

Bairstow Likely to Retain Spot

Since returning from a broken ankle that kept him out of the final Test against South Africa and the 2022-23 winter tours of Pakistan and New Zealand, he has struggled to replicate those numbers His 424 runs at 30.28 since the start of the 2023 summer include three fifties, one an unbeaten 99 against Australia at Old Trafford.

His Rajkot first-innings duck was his eighth against India. However, his second dismissal—lbw missing a sweep off Ravindra Jadeja—was his first time out playing an offensive shot. McCullum believes that’s the issue.

McCullum’s Confidence

Jonny Bairstow hasn’t scored as many runs as he’d like and has got out very lightly for someone with Jonny’s power game “said.

I don’t worry about him. I’m not blind, but he’s done so well for us and had such a tremendous career. Top-quality Jonny Bairstow is as excellent as anyone in any situation. So we need to keep giving him confidence, filter out a lot of the surrounding noise, and keep him present and focused on his goals, and I’m confident Jonny will succeed.”

In the following days, McCullum will add a human touch with someone who is “a little bit different… but in a good way”. Stokes and McCullum have done well by doing right by the person above the player, and the 2022 Bairstow, who they encouraged, emboldened, and reassured, is proof.

McCullum’s Confidence

In contrast, McCullum will ignore his other out-of-form senior batter, Joe Root. England’s second-highest Test run-scorer has 77 runs at 12.83 after another round of poor scores. McCullum is deeply concerned. Joe Root is crikey. I mean, seriously? He should fill his boots in the following two, according to averages.

McCullum’s Defense Root’s Form

In contrast, McCullum will ignore his other out-of-form senior batter, Joe Root. England’s second-highest Test run-scorer has 77 runs at 12.83 after another round of poor scores. McCullum is deeply concerned. Joe Root, is crikey. I mean, seriously? He should fill his boots in the following two, according to averages.”

McCullum also defended Root’s first-inning ramp shot, which caused a day three collapse of 8 for 95. England lost a first-innings lead of 126 to India, who were without R Ashwin, at 224 for 2. This theatrical portion was crucial.

McCullum also attacked those who claim Root is unsuited to the new strategy. His career average dropped below 50 and under Stokes to 50.12 at the start of the series. It is still higher than during his captaincy (46.44) but below the 52.80 he achieved in his first four years under Alastair Cook.

McCullum’s Defense Root’s Form

I think he’s averaged 50 with that shot [before 60, now 30], plus what happened after he played it. Two times he’s escaped. Defending or driving one through the leg can get you nicked. It may not be as high-risk in newer games as in older ones.

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