England must be 'tougher and stronger' to salvage Ashes, says Bairstow

England need to be ‘tougher and stronger’ to salvage Ashes campaign, says Jonny Bairstow after another woeful collapse against Australia and insists ‘everyone is trying’ despite sloppy dismissals

  • England were all out for 185 on Boxing Day in another bitter disappointment 
  • Joe Root reached 50 before the England captain give his wicket away 
  • Ben Stokes hit 22 but also made a mistake while Jos Buttler was out for just 3 
  • Jonny Bairstow said England need to show more resilience against Australia 
  • He insists their poor displays are not for lack of trying with Ashes hopes fading 

Jonny Bairstow called for England to be stronger after their latest batting collapse left them in danger at Melbourne of squandering the Ashes again after just three Tests.

England were dismissed for just 185, their 12th sub-200 total this year, with a mixture of poor technique and pathetic shots after Pat Cummins had decided to bowl first on an unusually green MCG pitch. Australia replied with 61 for the loss of David Warner.

And Bairstow, who did better than most on his return to the side with 35, called for England to ‘be honest with ourselves’ with the Ashes slipping away yet again.

Jonny Bairstow admitted England need to be ‘tougher and stronger’ after their latest collapse against Australia on Boxing Day

‘We’ve got a bit stronger and tougher with our dismissals,’ said Bairstow. ‘We’ve spoken about that and that’s just being honest with ourselves. We need to keep doing that and when we come to the second innings we’re going to have to put more on our wickets.’

Bairstow put the onus on individuals when asked to explain how England could yet again bat so badly, with Jos Buttler most culpable after giving his wicket away with a wild hack at Nathan Lyon in the last over before tea.

‘It’s an individual decision,’ said Bairstow. ‘If it’s the game-plan to take the off-spinner down and put pressure back on by getting fielders back then that’s the plan that was taken.

Australia are starting to run away with the urn after a number of England errors in Melbourne 

‘I don’t think it’s for me to explain other people’s dismissals other than it’s individuals going out and playing the best way they see to score runs and that’s what it’s about. Naturally the execution wasn’t there today so it’s something we will reassess for next time.

‘Everyone is trying. We have individual methods and training techniques to implement. Why is it so difficult? Well both sides were going to bowl first and it was overcast and the pitch wasn’t great. I thought they bowled well but we can come back in the morning and apply the same pressure on them.

‘It’s about each of us finding a way of scoring runs. There’s no one way. You look at various techniques and ways of doing it over here there’s not one method. It’s about seeing the best way of scoring runs and spending time in the middle.’

Joe Root’s side were all out for 185 and Bairstow insists they are ‘trying’ despite poor displays

Root made 50 before giving his wicket away as England’s batsmen again failed to kick on

But the Yorkshireman did claim things could have been very different at the start of the third Test had Joe Root won the toss, as he did in the first game at Brisbane before squandering any potential advantage by batting first.

‘When you look at the toss, that didn’t go our way,’ said Bairstow. ‘We’re still searching for that big score but we’d have also looked at having a bowl on that pitch with conditions this morning. 

‘We’re bowling on the same pitch as they did and we’ve seen it offer plenty throughout the day so we’ll come back tomorrow and hopefully we’ll put pressure on them to get some early inroads.’




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