Jonny Bairstow has responded to Sunil Gavaskar’s criticism of the England ODI opener from the recent India-England Test series, asking the former India captain to “give me a call” to discuss his opinion.
Gavaskar, on commentary duties for the host broadcasters, had questioned Bairstow’s intent during the fourth Test of the series in Ahmedabad, calling him “uninterested”.
“You have not scored a run, and just come in and pushed at it, as if there was no fielder at backward short leg,” Gavaskar had commented on-air after Bairstow fell to R Ashwin in the third Test. “It looked to me as if it was the shot of a person uninterested.”
“What’s he trying to do? First ball, he should be looking to play a soft defensive shot. There is a fielder there at backward short leg. Uninterested.”
After a forgettable Test series in which he collected three ducks from four innings, Bairstow has turned things around in the one-day leg, and currently has scores of 94 and 124 from the first two ODIs.
Responding to a question on the comment in the post-match virtual conference after the second ODI, where he won the Player of the Match award, Bairstow, who has made no secret in the past of his desire to nail down an England Test place, said he had “no correspondence or communication” with the 71-year-old.
“First of all, no, I hadn’t heard that [comment],” Bairstow said, “and secondly, I am interested as to how opinion can have been made especially when there has been no correspondence and communication between myself and him.
“So, he is more than welcome to give me a ring and I will speak to him about my will to do well in Test cricket and the enjoyment I do get out of playing Test cricket. As I said, my phone is on. If he wants, he can call or message me.”
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