Jonny Bairstow defends England's rest and rotation policy
Jonny Bairstow robustly defends England’s rest and rotation policy as he insists players NEED to get out of the bubble for a mental refresh – and says those on white-ball only deals can’t be expected to turn down the ‘serious sums’ on offer in the IPL
- Jonny Bairstow said every player needs a rest or they’ll be mentally exhausted
- Rest periods saw him relinquish his spot to Dan Lawrence for first two India Tests
- He also tackled the thorny issues of England stars heading to this year’s IPL
- Bairstow doesn’t think players on white-ball only deals can be told not to go
Jonny Bairstow launched a robust defence of England’s rest and rotation policy and the right of top players to go to the Indian Premier League.
Bairstow is back with England’s red-ball squad after his own period at home and watched from the seclusion of his quarantine in a Chennai hotel room as the aftermath of the second Test defeat degenerated into a shemozzle over selection.
And the puzzle became even more complex on Thursday when it was revealed Sam Curran will now miss the whole of the Test series while Chris Woakes will head for home after next week’s third Test.
Jonny Bairstow said every England player needs a rest otherwise they’ll be mentally exhausted
It all adds up a confusing picture but there was support for moves that have been made to try to help players cope with a non-stop year of cricket from a batsman who has often been on the wrong end of selectorial whims.
First Bairstow, who hopes to retain the No3 spot where he made an important contribution to England’s 2-0 victory over Sri Lanka last month, tackled the thorny issue of multi-format players heading to this year’s IPL when they could be resting then.
Significantly, Bairstow made the distinction between England players on full contracts, worth around £700,000 basic a year, and those like him, Moeen Ali and Mark Wood who earn substantially less at around £170,000 on white-ball only deals.
Bairstow, who has had his own period at home, defended England’s rest and rotation policy
‘When you see some of the sums on offer it’s very hard to turn down,’ said Bairstow, who will return to Sunrisers Hyderabad for this year’s instalment of the IPL. ‘We have some players on full contracts and some on white-ball only and I don’t think you can say ‘don’t go’ to England players on white-ball contracts. There are some serious sums involved.’
Then Bairstow, who earns £220,000 from his own IPL contract, backed the rest periods that in his case saw him relinquish his place to Dan Lawrence for the first two Tests against India even though he had only just returned himself from a year’s red-ball absence.
‘It’s a complete mental re-fresh,’ said Bairstow of his 10 days outside England’s bio-secure bubble at home in Leeds. ‘We weren’t able to leave our hotels all summer. Now we can’t leave the hotel all winter. You go down to dinner and have to sit on separate tables.
Sam Curran will now miss the rest of the India series after asking for a few extra days off
‘At some point everyone will have to have a break otherwise you will have people, however many months or years down the line, mentally and physically exhausted, if not injured. It can be a difficult balance, particularly as I’m not on a red-ball contract.’
The demands of bubble life were emphasised when Bairstow had to make a tortuous return journey to India ahead of a period of quarantine before being allowed out to train with England in Chennai on Wednesday ahead of their flight to Ahmedabad on Thursday.
‘First it was four hours to Heathrow when we nearly broke down,’ said Bairstow of the journey with Wood and members of England support’s staff. ‘Then we flew to Bangalore where we had a wait after our covid tests. And then we had a seven and a half hour bus journey to Chennai when we weren’t allowed to stop. That was interesting.
Bairstow said players like him and Moeen Ali on white-ball only deals can’t turn down IPL offers
‘After that we all went to our bedrooms where we had to stay for six days and there was no fresh air so that was tough. But there’s a reason why I was in Sri Lanka and there’s a reason why I’m here now – I want to play Test cricket for England and I want my full central contract back. I will get those rewards if I do well.’
Curran was meant to be undertaking that return journey with Bairstow and Wood but asked for a few extra days off, meaning he was ruled out of contention for the third Test. And on Thursday it emerged he will miss the fourth too as logistics in getting him back to Ahmedabad have proved too tricky to negotiate. Instead he will travel with the white-ball squad to India on a charter flight on February 26.
Woakes, meanwhile, was originally believed to be heading home with Joe Root after the fourth Test and would miss just the white-ball leg of the tour. But he will now only be in Ahmedabad for another Test meaning, if Woakes plays next week, England would have a repeat scenario as the one just suffered by Moeen who appeared in one Test and then headed for his break.
It is a covid related puzzle that is proving no easier for England to solve.
Bairstow’s hoping to retain the No3 spot after impressing in last month’s series win in Sri Lanka
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article