Hotwiring Jonny Bairstow

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Despite recent media coverage, Alex Hales is not actually in competition with Moeen Ali. He is, we’d guess, competing with Jonny Bairstow. Alastair Cook wants plenty of bowlers in 40 degree heat which means Adil Rashid will finally get to play a Test in the UAE. In which case who misses out? Well if Hales opens, it’s probably Jonny Bairstow.

With all the talk about restructuring county cricket, we’ve seen a lot of ‘don’t mess with the County Championship – it’s what’s produced all of these England players’ type articles. It’s not a bad competition and indeed it has given rise to some good players. The thing is, it’s impossible to know how good they would have been had they been playing in a different competition.

It’s striking that England aren’t entirely sold on Jonny Bairstow and we’re sure that must say something about domestic cricket. We wouldn’t be surprised if he were left out of the first Test team and yet he averaged 92.33 with five hundreds in the Championship this year.

If a 26-year-old scores a thousand runs in your domestic competition and scores at 4.5 runs an over, shouldn’t you be desperately trying to force him into your team, rather than allowing him to slip out of it? If Bairstow were a car, England would drive around in him but would routinely leave him unlocked and not shed too many tears if he were stolen.


  1. Jonny Bairstow might be following a long tradition of players whose county stats are seen to count for little or nothing because of a perceived weakness at the highest level. Due to that perception, they are not given a proper run in the team. Not given a proper run, their occasional appearances are scant evidence one way or another.

    Ramprakash and Hick are the two names that spring immediately to mind. But in those days, a lot of the CC runs were the equivalent of Division 2, so perhaps less impressive than Bairstow’s CC showings. I also felt that there was a temperament thing with Ramprahick, whereas I think with Bairstow the temperament is fine, he simply needs more experience of facing relentless international pace and standard of quicks.

    Being able to don the gloves might yet spare Bairstow from Hickdom. I hope he comes through as a true star – I enjoy watching him bat and he looks a distinct cut above to my inexpert but quite experienced eyes.

    1. I realise that Hick’s selection was somewhat fragmented, but he did play 65 tests which is not an inconsiderable number – more than Jonathan Trott and not many less than, say Mike Gatting.

    2. You could argue that in his case county runs were over rated. Based on his county exploits he kept being brought back and got 65 tests despite his average only creeping above 30. Ramprakash was somewhat different and probably shouldn’t be portmaneaued, but even he (I was surprised to read) played 52 tests.

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