Bairstow falls short as Windies pacemen discover his weakness

Trent Bridge

The "dog-thrower" Graham Gooch uses to drill England batsmen has become a regular feature of the team's net sessions, and if Jonny Bairstow keeps his place for the next Test at Edgbaston, he will surely become very familiar with it.

Bairstow is a player of much promise and England believe he has the talent and attitude to succeed in Tests. The 22-year-old might prove his supporters right, but first he must work hard to sharpen his technique against the short ball.

During a three-year first-class career for Yorkshire, Bairstow has shone as much for the strength of his mind as he has for the quality of his strokes. He has acquired a reputation for scoring runs for his county in difficult moments; rarely will Bairstow have experienced a cricketing challenge as exacting as this.

He will have faced spells of fast bowling in county cricket, but perhaps not the combination of sustained accuracy and menace that West Indies' Kemar Roach found with the second new ball.

It took only one delivery for Roach to realise that Bairstow was uneasy. The batsman misread the length and took a blow on the gloves. Bairstow's second ball caused even more alarm as it rose towards his throat at close to 90mph.

His defence was inadequate and, although the ball dropped safely, news of Bairstow's vulnerability will have been passed on to the South African pair Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, who arrive for three Tests later in the summer. With his thoughts jumbled against Roach, Bairstow was then too early on a shot and the leading edge looped to mid-on.

"We know that he doesn't like the short deliveries," said Ravi Rampaul. "It's in our plan, Kemar Roach is our fastest bowler and he executed it well. Information travels fast. We had a chance to bowl at him when we played the England Lions, and we picked it up in that game."

Bairstow should now have extended sessions against the bowling machine and batting coach Gooch's side-arm. It is the first significant problem Bairstow has faced during his nascent international career, and his involvement in the South Africa series will probably be determined by how quickly he can uncover a solution. Tim Bresnan, a team-mate at county level, believes his younger colleague will find the right answers.

"Whenever I've seen him play for Yorkshire, he seems to whack the short ball out of the park," said Bresnan. "The opposition pace bowlers will come at you hard for the first four or five overs of their innings, which they are entitled to do.

"When he came in, there were two men back on the hook behind square, so it wouldn't have been the smartest move for him to smack the ball down deep square-leg's throat. He doesn't seem to be worried about the situation, and I'm certainly not worried for him."

The hounding of Bairstow was one of the highlights of a mature bowling performance from the tourists, which was then virtually ruined by their supine batting. On an excellent pitch, West Indies restricted England to a lead of just 58, but they will resume today 61 for 6 and the home side are strong favourites to take the three-match series with a game to spare.

"It's not easy to bowl more than 120 overs and then watch your batsmen not applying themselves and losing wickets," admitted Rampaul. "I don't fault them but it's frustrating. We need to focus more and apply ourselves more."

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?