The Ashes 2023 : Cricketing Fraternity reacts on Bairstow’s controversial dismissal in the 2nd Test

The second Ashes Test at Lord’s, which Australia won by 43 runs to go 2-0 up in the five-match series, witnessed a few moments, which overlooked the intense competition the two sides produced. Rather the “ Spirit of Cricket '' was intensively debated on social media with Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal in the second innings being the most discussed topic. 

Jonny Bairstow & Australian players. Baistow's controversial dismissal left the internet divided.
Jonny Bairstow & Australian players (Credit - ICC)

The dismissal proved pivotal in helping Australia win the match, taking them to a 2-0 series lead with three tests left to play, but sparked an ugly backlash. Bairstow was stumped for 10 by the Australian wicket-keeper Alex Carey. Although the dismissal was well within the rules, England felt it lacked sportsmanship.

The England batter who after ducking a short ball by Cameron Green, casually strolled to the other end while the ball was still in play. Australian keeper Alex Carey, who collected the ball, showed great game sense as appreciated by many including Ashwin, took a hit at the stumps and knocked it following the Aussies went for the appeal.The moment left Bairstow stunned, who assumed the ball to be dead and had to walk back to the pavilion, which he obviously didn’t like. 

While Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal has still kept social media buzzing, many cricketing legends have shared their thoughts on the subject. England Captain Ben Stokes stated after the match that “ as a captain he wouldn’t have wanted to win a test match in such a manner before adding he would have withdrawn the run-out appeal. Brendon McCullum England’s head coach believes that the dismissal could stiffen England’s resolve to mount a fightback in Ashes.

Legendary umpire Simon Taufel also shared his thoughts on this controversial dismissal. As per Taufel the decision by the third umpire to rule Bairstow out is absolutely correct but not liked by England which one can arguably say was also the turning point of the match. For Mohammad Kaif (former Indian player), the dismissal was fair and square and “there is no question of the spirit of cricket”.

Former England opener Mark Butcher is confused by the uproar over Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal in the second Test, saying that “it’s just as plain as day out” and the chatter in cricketing circles is “nonsense”. Butcher, who played 71 Tests and scored 4288 runs, said almost everyone he had spoken to following the incident thinks Bairstow was out. “For me, it’s just as plain as day out. And pretty much to all of the other  professional cricketers I have spoken to, they all say exactly the same thing”, Butcher told the Wisden Cricket Weekly podcast.

Indian Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who has mostly been at the center of “spirit of the game” debates, praised Alex Carey for his awareness. “ We must get one fact loud and clear. The keeper would never have a dip at the stumps from that far out in a test match unless he or his team had noticed a pattern of the batter leaving his crease after leaving a ball like Bairstow did. We must applaud the game smarts of the individual rather than skewing it towards unfair play or spirit of the game,” he tweeted. Ashwin’s thoughts on the matter was well-received by fans on Twitter.

The crowd booed the Australian team for the rest of the game, including during the presentation ceremony, after the dismissal. Despite analyst and fan disagreements about the incident, the playing conditions for a dead ball indicate that the stumping was legal. The moment also left the internet divided.   

Cover Credit - ICC

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