Ashes 2019: ‘He’s got a bit in the bank’ – Struggling Jonny Bairstow gets Test lifeline from Trevor Bayliss
Jonny Bairstow has scored 14 runs in his last four Test innings. © AFP

England coach Trevor Bayliss has thrown his weight behind struggling Test wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow, whose lack of runs in the format have prompted speculation over his role as the preferred gloveman.

After a very fine World Cup run as opener, Bairstow has managed 14 runs in four Test innings. He bagged a pair in the four-day Test match against Ireland and Lord’s last month, and scored 8 and 6 in the 251-run loss to Australia as the Ashes began on August 1 at Edgbaston.

This poor run of form has dropped his Test batting average to 22.91 over the past 12 months, which is significantly lower than Bairstow’s career average of 35.70. In his last 17 Test innings, Bairstow has six ducks and three scores of 50-plus.

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Asked about whether England are considering dropping Bairstow for the second Ashes Test at Lord’s next week, Bayliss said: “I wouldn’t have thought so. He’s got a bit in the bank, Jonny.

“We know what a class player he is and he’s at his best when he’s got a point to prove. He usually finds a way to motivate himself. When he’s got a point to prove that’s usually when he’s at the top of his game.”

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Bayliss also backed Test rookie Jason Roy, who scored 10 and 28 at Edgbaston. The 28-year-old was called up to England’s Test squad for the four-day match against Ireland at Lord’s last month, having scored 443 runs at an average of 63.28 and strike-rate of 115.36 during the team’s historic World Cup run. He made 5 and 72 in England’s win over Ireland, and was then included for the Ashes.

Jason Roy Ashes 2019
Jason Roy charged Nathan Lyon and was bowled on day five. (Image: Twitter)

On day five of the Edgbaston Test, Roy was bowled when charging down the track at Australia offspinner Nathan Lyon.

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“I thought he was trying throughout both innings to knuckle down and play in a Test match mode. But if he gets out like he did he’s got to take it on the chin, we’ve got to take it on the chin,” Bayliss said. “If you’ve been applauding him for playing those kind of shots elsewhere it’s a bit hard to be too critical if he gets out playing that way.”