'Jonny will hate me saying this, but as player you should be aware': Root on Bairstow-Carey stumping controversy

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) England batter and former skipper Joe Root shared his surprising take on the incident that saw Jonny Bairstow dismissed uniquely in the Ashes series 2023 against Australia. Root highlighted the need for players to be more aware while acknowledging the legality of the dismissal.
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'Jonny will hate me saying this, but as player you should be aware': Root on Bairstow-Carey stumping controversy

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) England batter and former skipper Joe Root shared his surprising take on the incident that saw Jonny Bairstow dismissed uniquely in the Ashes series 2023 against Australia. Root highlighted the need for players to be more aware while acknowledging the legality of the dismissal.

It was the second Test of the Ashes series as England were in the midst of a challenging run-chase of 371 runs. Jonny Bairstow, known for his resilience at the crease, was on 10 runs when the moment of controversy unfolded. After ducking a ball, Bairstow casually stepped outside his crease, assuming the ball was dead. However, Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey seized the opportunity, swiftly stumping Bairstow before he could return to safety.

The dismissal, which came on the fourth day of the game, was pivotal. England, needing 371 runs, was skittled for 327, resulting in a 2-0 series lead for Australia. The manner of Bairstow's dismissal sparked an uproar.

Members of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) voiced their displeasure at the Australian team as they returned to the Long Room for lunch, and debates raged about the 'Spirit of Cricket'. Many argued that Bairstow should have been warned, while others maintained that the dismissal, though controversial, was within the laws of the game.

In the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Board's documentary, 'The Ashes 2023 Our Take', Joe Root reflects on the incident with candor. "Initially I was quite angry, but I think when you are involved in the game it is very difficult to put yourself in the other position. So I would like to say I would have dealt with it differently (than Australia), but I could very easily have done the same thing," Root admitted.

Root's perspective is one of understanding and realism. "Jonny will hate me saying this, but if you stay in your crease you can't get given out can you? At the end of the day it is within the laws of the game. You should be aware as a player," he added.

Root lauded the leadership of skipper Ben Stokes, who rallied the team in the face of adversity. Stokes' resilience and strategic acumen led England to a 2-2 draw in the series, a remarkable comeback after the contentious dismissal at Lord's. The team won the third and fifth Tests comprehensively, and the fourth Test at Manchester was only interrupted by rain, preventing what could have been an England victory.

Root's reflections extend to the broader impact of the incident on the team's spirit. "It deserved more than for us to come out on the wrong end of that (Lord's) result. For England's captain to show us this is how we play our cricket regardless of the situation, regardless of what people might have said in the first innings, how we got dismissed, reckless, careless, no thought behind it. It was a really powerful moment for us as a team and the rest of the series as well," he concluded.

In the end, while Australia retained the prestigious Ashes urn by drawing the series, they failed to win a series in England for the first time since 2001.

--IANS

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