Aussie great's key observation as Jonny Bairstow learns Ashes fate

Brad Haddin says there's a clear reason for Jonny Bairstow's silence.

Bard Haddin and Jonny Bairstow.
Bard Haddin says Jonny Bairstow's silence over his second Test dismissal can be explained by his 'embarrassment' over it. Pictures: Getty Images

England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow has managed to both retain his place in England's Ashes team and ride out the second Test controversy surrounding his stumping at the hands of Australian counterpart Alex Carey - for one key reason, Brad Haddin believes. The Ashes series is delicately poised at 2-1 following England's victory at Headingley, with Bairstow retaining his spot despite dropping several regulation catches throughout the match.

While plenty has been made of the second Test dismissal, Bairstow himself has remained remarkably quiet on the issue - due to embarrassment, according to Haddin. While the English media in particular, as well as several of his teammates, were in uproar over the 'spirit of cricket, the man at the centre of it all remained quiet, particularly as clips from years past began to surface showing Bairstow taking wickets in a similar fashion in various fixtures.

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While he hasn't spoken about the dismissal, Bairstow felt comfortable giving Australian batter Steve Smith some lip following his dismissal in the second innings at Headingley. That soon backfired on him, with the Aussies giving it right back when he lost his wicket with the third Test hanging in the balance.

However Haddin said Bairstow could consider himself fortunate to have retained his spot for the fourth Test at Old Trafford. He told Fox Sports that there was no doubt the second Test had dented his confidence.

“It’s interesting. Jonny’s obviously got a lot of frustration built up. Since the Lord’s test with that runout, the only English player we haven’t heard from is Jonny Bairstow," he told the Back Page podcast.

“He’s taken a shot at Steve Smith (after the Aussie was dismissed at Headingley), that’s okay, that can happen in the heat of battle. But we need to hear from him. We need to hear what happened at Lord’s, his view on it, rather than get everyone else to talk.

“I think he’s just embarrassed. I think he’s really embarrassed by what happened at Lord’s.

"It was a stupid way to get out, it was a brain explosion. And I’d like to hear from Jonny Bairstow before he starts going at the Australian players.”

“I think you can see in his performance with the gloves. He’s missed a lot of chances. If he was catching right, England might be 2-1 up in this series.”

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The hosts on Tuesday confirmed an unchanged 14-man squad for next Wednesday's Old Trafford Test, with Ollie Robinson still some hope to play despite back spasms. Jimmy Anderson is also there after being left out of the Headingley win, and is expected to return to the XI for his hometown Test.

England's Mark Wood and Chris Woakes spurred the home side to victory in the third Ashes Test. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
England's Mark Wood and Chris Woakes spurred the home side to victory in the third Ashes Test. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) (2023 Getty Images)

But it is the lack of a second specialist wicketkeeper in England's squad that is of most interest. While Bairstow made a run-a-ball 78 on the opening day of the Ashes, his average has dropped to 23.5 for the series.

His wicketkeeping has become a far more significant issue, dropping a further three catches in the Headingley Test to take his number of missed chances to six. Foakes last played for England in New Zealand in February, but has been the unlucky man squeezed out of the team since Bairstow returned from a broken leg.

With AAP

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