Ashes 2023: Jonny Bairstow can benefit by training with a tennis ball, says Adam Gilchrist


London, June 22 (IANS) Legendary Australia wicketkeeper-batter Adam Gilchrist believes that Jonny Bairstow can benefit hugely by going back to basics by training with a tennis ball, especially after the England glovesman missed a series of catches and a simple stumping opportunity in the hosts’ two-wicket defeat in the Ashes series opener at Edgbaston.

“I personally would be doing a lot of work with a tennis ball. Hitting balls with a tennis racquet so it’s soft, and slow, start to get a bit of relaxation in your movement. Ian Healy was the best at this. Getting your foundation right, then if you have to dive, back your natural ability. Get the foundation right. Slower, soft, more supple movements, particularly over the stumps.”

“That stumping of Cam Green early in the first innings would have had Australia 140/5, was reasonably regulation. Good sight of the ball, it spun a bit and bounced but he was just too stiff. You can do a lot of drills with a tennis ball, just inner gloves on, not your keeping gloves. Just be really soft.”

“I say a tennis ball because if you have hard hands and are stiff and rigid, the tennis ball will bounce out. But if you can do a lot of those, get your rhythm up and some feel, I think Jonny would benefit from a lot of drills like that. He may well be doing that,” said Gilchrist in an episode of the Telegraph’s Vaughany and Tuffers podcast.

Bairstow’s selection over Ben Foakes for the ongoing 2023 Ashes had sparked a lot of debate in terms of match fitness and wicketkeeping skills, especially after the former had been out of competitive cricketing action for more than seven months due to a broken leg sustained last year in August. But Gilchrist thinks Bairstow can come good in the coming matches.

“I don’t want to put the blowtorch on Jonny, it’s a risk v reward selection and I was the beneficiary of a period of time when wicketkeepers that batted well started to get the nod more than the straight old-fashioned wicketkeeper. I can’t complain about that system too much.”

“They don’t need to panic, and I suspect they won’t. Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes are not panic merchants and have a lot of belief in the group they’ve got. But Jonny has come off an injury and will be better for the run.”

“In the next week, he will practise his batting but I bet he does a lot of sharpening of his wicketkeeping. He’s a talented athlete and I reckon that’s a bit of an aberration: it’s not often that three or four chances go down behind the stumps. Whether they cost the Test match, they contribute to the position England were in,” he added.

Gilchrist, who played 96 Tests, also called England fast bowler Ollie Robinson ‘public enemy No. 1’ in Australia because of his fiery send-off to Usman Khawaja.

“Ollie Robinson is public enemy No. 1, even before the victory was achieved, after the send-off. In the changing rooms the Aussies would have stuck up for their teammate Uzzie, but they didn’t come out publicly and say anything.”

“They just fight fire with fire on the field. It was more a press intrigue. It’s almost like the Aussie press were trying to conjure up some sort of action against Ollie. Only they know that,” he concluded.



About Author

error: Content is protected !!

Maintain by Designwell Infotech