Jonny Bairstow has accused Australia of setting a poor example for youngsters through his controversial stumping at Lord’s, doubling down on England’s criticism of the dismissal.
In a fiery post script to his unbeaten 99 at Old Trafford, Bairstow turned the blowtorch on critics who questioned the 33-year-old’s spot in England’s team.
He also revealed his struggle to return from a broken leg and dislocated ankle in this Ashes summer, saying surgeons warned he may never walk again.
But he saved his most pointed reflection for Australia, speaking for the first time since England accused the tourists of breaching the spirit of cricket by stumping Bairstow when wandering out of his crease.
“It wasn’t the way I wanted to be out down at Lord’s,” Bairstow told Sky Sports.
“That is part and parcel now of the game. We have seen it in other occasions.
“I have even heard about it [happening] now in club cricket. That’s not necessarily what you want to be hearing.
“The example for me is when you are looking at young kids coming up. You want to be playing the game and play it how I have always played it; you play it tough, you play it fair.
“And on a different day it doesn’t happen.”
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Australia have routinely defended the stumping since, pointing out it was within the rules and Bairstow should blame himself for being careless with his wicket.
The comments came after Bairstow smashed 99 off 81 balls to take the game away from Australia on day three of the fourth Test, helping England to 592 in their first innings.
Australia went to stumps 4-113 in their second innings, needing 162 more runs to make England bat again.
Bairstow had been heavily scrutinised in the lead-up to this Test, after missing eight of 20 chances across the first three matches.
Data also showed he had been completely outplayed by rival Alex Carey, a trend Bairstow has bucked at Old Trafford by taking all five opportunities presented to him.
“There’s obviously been some chitter chatter and opinions that have been rather interesting at times,” Bairstow told reporters.
“Especially when there’s not been many conversations around how my ankle is.
“Whether they’re fair or not, it’s up to you guys to decide because you guys are writing the different bits.
“To have the injury that I had and [be] back playing international sport within nine months is something I’m incredibly proud of.”
Bairstow also fired up at reporters for not acknowledging his effort to return from the injury after not keeping wicket consistently in the years prior to the leg injury.
“Keeping after three years’ not keeping, it’s one of those things that takes a bit of time, irrelevant of the ankle,” Bairstow said.
“That’s part and parcel of it. It would be like you guys taking a three-year sabbatical and then coming back and writing to the same level which you do, day-in, day-out.”