Former England captain Jeffrey Boycott believes that the current management of the team should be “ashamed” of how he coped with the test career of Johnny Beirstov, who has rested for the first two matches in India.
Bairstow, who is a battle goalkeeper, played both tests in Sri Lanka as a specialist batsman before returning home as part of England’s load management for his players.
Bairstow will be available for the last two tests in India, but Boycott believes it should have replaced it Joss Butler as a door guard for the second test, not Ben Fox. Butler has rested after taking the first test in Chennai and he will return to India for the limited part of the tour.
“So I make Butler leave India, but it’s poor that Beirstow doesn’t replace him for the second test. It must be because Ed Smith (head coach) wants to see this other kid, Fox, do it. Smith obviously doesn’t. I want Johnny to play as a whip guard, “Boycott told The Telegraph.
“He (Bairstow) has always said he wants to follow his father as a batsman guard. He doesn’t want to be just a batsman specialist, but Smith made that decision and I think it’s unfair. Johnny missed the opportunity to keep the wicket again and England should be ashamed of what they did to him.
“It looks like England pushes him in and pushes him out when they like. He has to feel like a yo-yo.”
The boycott said the break after the tour of Sri Lanka was forced on Bairstow.
“Bairstowe wasn’t exactly looking for a break, they forced him to. He would line up to stay in India and get his gloves. Johnny set tracks in Sri Lanka, he’s used to India after two years in IPL and he has proven experience, “he said.
“You’d think England would welcome a race for seats. That’s good for the team. If Johnny comes in and behaves well and scores, Butler will realize he has to keep playing well to stay away.
“But no. That chance is gone and England will be weaker when they have to pick their best team to go up 2-0 in the series,” added Boycott.