Jonny Bairstow plays down Ashes flashpoint as England and Australia clash again

England

Jonny Bairstow says he has no desire to revisit the controversial events of last summer’s Lord’s Test, as England and Australia prepare to do battle once more in the biggest contest to date of the T20 World Cup.

The moment, which occurred during England’s final-day run-chase as Bairstow wandered out of his crease after ducking a bouncer from Cameron Green, sparked fury in the Lord’s pavilion, with some MCC members accosting the Australia players on their way up to the dressing-room as the teams left the field for lunch.

The repercussions continued throughout a thrilling Ashes series, with England recovering from a 2-0 deficit after the Lord’s Test to square the series 2-2 thanks to nailbiting victories at Headingley and The Oval. And speaking on the eve of a crucial Group B clash in Barbados, Bairstow insisted that the incident had galvanised England into an on-field response.

“I’ve not seen any of it to be quite honest with you,” he said, when asked if he’d been streaming any episodes of the documentary. “I’ve got other things that I watch on TV, I don’t need to sit and watch that in my hotel room.

“You see enough cricket when you’re involved in it day to day and playing it. But I think that post that event, the way in which we as a side reacted to that was a real positive.

“You look at the results after that thing that happened at Lord’s and I actually think that we finished that series a lot stronger than Australia did.

“Look, I think the impact it had on us as a side, the Test side, was actually a very positive effect and you can make your own assumptions as to what effect it had on Australia and their individuals.”

Mitchell Marsh, Australia’s T20 captain, was also involved in the latter stages of the Ashes, including a brilliant counterattacking hundred in the subsequent Test in Leeds. And as he recalled the febrile atmosphere at England’s grounds that summer, Marsh acknowledged that Australia’s reception in Barbados on Saturday might not be dissimilar.

“I dare say this will be full and it’ll be mostly English fans, so it’ll be like playing at Headingley all over, or anywhere in England where you get sprayed,” he said.

“But just the atmosphere, the vibe of the game, there’s always a lot riding on it. As a team we always want to challenge ourselves against the best. England have been exceptional in this format for a long period of time now, so there’s certainly going to be a lot on the game and we’re pumped.”

The stakes for England in particular have been ramped up this week, following their washout against Scotland, which could leave their Super 8 qualification in jeopardy if Australia get the better of them on Saturday. Bairstow, however, wasn’t letting the permutations in Group B get the better of him.

“It doesn’t derail us either way. We know we’ve got to win more games than we lose in tournament cricket,” he said. “A win puts you in a position in the group which is obviously more favourable but the other two games after this are must-win games anyway. But it would be good for momentum and confidence.

“England versus Australia is always a great occasion. Two very good teams going toe-to-toe. It’s going to be an exciting spectacle. Hopefully it will be a fantastic atmosphere like it always is in Barbados and the best side will come out on top.”

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