Ben Foakes Reveals Why England Should Back Jonny Bairstow Over Him: As the fourth Ashes Test draws near, the decision to exclude Surrey star Ben Foakes from the England squad has raised a few eyebrows. Despite his outstanding performance behind the stumps in Surrey’s recent County Championship match against Nottinghamshire, Foakes remains on the fringes of the squad.
Earlier this year, Foakes humbly admitted, “I can’t do what a lot of these guys do.” This statement referred to his more cautious style of play compared to the aggressive approach adopted by many in the team, a factor potentially contributing to his omission.
Even though Jonny Bairstow’s performances, both behind the stumps and with the bat, have not inspired much confidence lately, Brendon McCullum continues to back him. The 33-year-old Yorkshireman, who managed a mere 17 runs in two innings in the last match, will keep his place in the team for the fourth Test. England will rely on Bairstow’s experience and his capacity to turn the tables when it matters most.
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“I can’t do what a lot of these guys do”: Ben Foakes
Reflecting on his style, Foakes said, “Quite a few of the games I’ve contributed in have been more in the role of batting normally and in more pressurised situations, where you can’t lose a wicket.” He emphasized his preference for steady play amid challenging situations and maintaining his comfort level on the field.
Nevertheless, the debate about Foakes’ exclusion continues, with several experts, including Sir Geoffrey Boycott, voicing their support for his inclusion. Boycott stated in the Telegraph, “When Jonny is at his best he is a better plus for England than Ben Foakes. But at the moment he is dropping things and not moving properly. So sorry, take him out of the pressure cooker.” His comments underscored the need for Bairstow to both keep his wicketkeeping safe and score runs, neither of which he’s currently achieving.
As England heads to Old Trafford to level the series, they have chosen to stick with an unchanged squad. This means the bowling attack might see Mark Wood and Chris Woakes continuing their roles, potentially sidelining James Anderson on his home ground. Yet, the legendary player is understood to be understanding if such a scenario unfolds.
Overall, the fourth Ashes Test brings with it high expectations and intense pressure. Each player’s contribution will be crucial in determining the final outcome. Even though Foakes may not be part of the action, his candid reflections and humble outlook are reminders that cricket is as much about character as it is about skill and performance.