Cricket

Gavaskar welcome to give me a ring and talk about my Test cricket: Bairstow

England's Jonny Bairstow looks skywards to celebrate scoring a century during the second One Day International cricket match between India and England at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, India, Friday, March 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AP

England opener Jonny Bairstow has hit back at Sunil Gavaskar for questioning his intent in the Test series defeat, saying the Indian legend is more than welcome to call or message him and discuss his “will” to play the longest format.

Bairstow had scores of 0, 0, 0 and 28 in the four innings that he played in England's 1-3 Test series defeat against India, prompting Gavaskar to comment that he looked "uninterested".

"Yeah, he's more than welcome to give me a ring and ask me about my will to do well in Test cricket and my enjoyment in Test cricket," Bairstow said in response to Gavaskar's comments.

The 31-year-old smashed a 112-ball 124 as England made a mockery of India's 337-run target to canter home with 39 balls to spare.

Following Bairstow's dismissal off Ravichandran Ashwin in the second innings of the final Test in Ahmedabad, Gavaskar had commentated that the batsman looked "uninterested" during his stay at the crease.

"You have not scored a run, and just come in and pushed at it, as if there was no fielder at backward short leg. 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," Gavaskar had said during his TV commentary.

Bairstow, however, said he has not heard what the Indian legend had remarked.

"First of all, I hadn't heard what he said. Secondly, I'm interested in knowing how an opinion can be made especially when there has been no correspondence or communication between him (Gavaskar) and me...

"As I said, my phone is on and if he just wants to give me a call or a message, he can feel free to do so," he said.

Bairstow has scored 4197 runs at an average of 34.12 in 74 Tests, while amassing 3425 runs, including 11 centuries, at 48.92 in 85 ODIs for England.

India and England will clash for the title in the third ODI on Sunday.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 4:16:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/gavaskar-welcome-to-give-me-a-ring-and-talk-about-my-test-cricket-bairstow/article34175525.ece

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