The Ashes 2023: Bairstow Vs Foakes – Who Should Play The Lords Test Match?

The Ashes 2023: Australia leads the five-match red ball series with a margin of 1-0. The visitors won the first match at Edgbaston by just two wickets. But England will have a lot to think ahead of the second Test match at Lords. Now the debate is on whether Jonny Bairstow should be part of the next game or should England include Ben Foakes in their playing XI.
The Ashes 2023: Bairstow Vs Foakes – Who Should Play The Lords Test Match?
The Ashes 2023: Bairstow Vs Foakes – Who Should Play The Lords Test Match?

The Ashes 2023: The wicket-keepers are the ones who also play an important role in all three formats of the game. They are the ones who do the most difficult job behind the stumps and nowadays, the wicket-keepers are asked to contribute with the bat as the middle-order batsman in Test Cricket or as the top-order batter in the limited-over games.

In The Ashes 2023 Test series, Australia has gained a one-nil lead after they won a thrilling match by two wickets in Edgbaston.

Ahead of the second Test match a Lords Cricket Ground, the home side England has to do a lot of thinking over their BazBall approach and also on which wicket-keeper batter should play the 2nd Test match. That game will start from Wednesday, 28th June 2023.

England is at old age debate again

Despite having produced decent wicket-keepers at the Test level, England is back to their old debate again. They are pondering upon whether to select a wicket-keeper batter or to include a batter who can also keep the wickets behind the stumps.

Jack Russell, Alec Stewart, Geraint Jones, Chris Read, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Foakes have decent a good job till now.

England also have Jos Buttler, the limited overs format captain of their team. Under Buttler, England had won their second T20 World Cup title which was played in Australia in 2022 and they are the only side to have two ICC Trophies at the same time.

England are also the defending champions of the ODI World Cup that they won in 2019.

Foakes or Bairstow – Who Should Play at Lords?

As said earlier, nowadays, the wicket-keepers should also contribute with the bat in hand as well. Australia is blessed to have Alex Carey in their team.

For England, including Jonny Bairstow will boost their batting. Bairstow score a valuable 78 runs in the first innings of that 1st Ashes Test Match. He was the second-highest scorer for his team.

But at the same, Jonny dropped too many catches and missed out on a stumping chance which led England to lose the first Test match by a narrow margin of two wickets.

Due to that loss in Edgbaston, the home side might be rethinking to include Ben Foakes in their playing XI for the 2nd Test match.

Ben Foakes is a specialist wicket-keeper in the Test squad of England. He might not be a dangerous batter like Bairstow. But Foakes have a safe pair of hands behind the stumps.

England has a solid top order and middle order batters who will come good in the 2nd Test match as the home side will aim to bounce back in the series. So England might go with Foakes as the specialist glove man.

It would be difficult for Foakes and Bairstow to be part of the same playing XI of England

England’s batting lineup consists of Zak Crawly, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Joe Root, and Ben Stokes. So to include Foakes and Bairstow in the playing XI will be an impossible task.

This team of England is picked by skipper Stokesy and coach Brendon McCullum. They have an attacking mindset in the red ball format. That is why only one wicket keeper batter can play in second Test match.

By: Kaushal Kowjalgi

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