"When will they learn to shut it?" - James Anderson on Jonny Bairstow's reaction to Virat Kohli's sledging during Edgbaston Test

Jonny Bairstow and James Anderson. (Credits: Getty)
Jonny Bairstow and James Anderson. (Credits: Getty)
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Aayushman Vishwanathan

Veteran England seamer James Anderson has opened up on teammate Jonny Bairstow's mindset following his altercation with Virat Kohli during the Edgbaston Test. The right-arm seamer stated that the opposition should avoid provoking the keeper-batter as it spurs him on.

Bairstow and Kohli had a go at each other during Day 3 of the recently concluded fifth Test. With the right-handed batter slightly struggling against Mohammad Shami, the former Indian skipper took a jibe at him from the slips. However, the Englishman played down the incident, saying this happens between competitors.

Bairstow vs Kohli yesterday 🍿 #ENGvIND

Anderson, who hosts the Tailenders' podcast, conceded that Bairstow was unimpressed by Kohli's sledging. He stated that Bairstow's brisk scoring was down to the Indian batter's antics. The 39-year-old said:

"Jonny was 80 not out and Virat had been going at him and sledging him a lot. I don't know if you saw the strike-rate difference? His strike-rate was about 20 before Virat started sledging him and about 150 after.
"His first words back in the dressing room at lunch were: 'When will they learn to shut it?' If there's somebody you don't want to rub up the wrong way, it is Jonny Bairstow."

The batter top-scored for the hosts in the first innings, managing 106 off 140 deliveries, hitting 14 fours and two sixes. The 32-year-old's unbeaten 114 in the second innings helped England scale their highest run-chase in Tests, gunning down 378 with seven wickets to spare.

They leveled the five-match series 2-2 with the win.

"It's the freedom we have now" - Jonny Bairstow on his excellent batting form

Jonny Bairstow earned the Player of the Match award against India. (Credits: Getty)
Jonny Bairstow earned the Player of the Match award against India. (Credits: Getty)

The 32-year-old, who has been in scintillating form this summer, said the absence of bio-bubbles and Covid tests has lent freedom to his game. The right-handed batter also credited new England coach Brendon McCullum for giving everyone clarity on their roles, stating:

"It's the freedom we have now. We're not in hotel rooms, bubbles, having to do Covid tests every day and we can do normal things like go to the shop, go for a beer, see your friends and family. All of those things accumulate together and obviously the excitement of working with Baz and the clarity he gave everyone."

The Yorkshire batter continued:

"Before we played New Zealand, there was chat about going to the IPL and not playing county cricket but Baz phoned me, said I was batting five in the Tests, to get my head around it and crack on. Baz also spoke to me a bit about imposing myself on the game - nothing technical. That can be tricky in red-ball cricket because you don't want to look like you're slogging."
England have beaten India at Edgbaston to level the series 2-2! πŸ”₯Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root both scoring centuries as England completed their highest ever chase of 378 runs!Incredible.πŸ“» Reaction on @bbctms on @BBCSounds and here πŸ‘‡#BBCCricket #ENGvIND

The selectors have rested the destructive batter from the ongoing T20 series against India, but he will be back for three ODIs following that.

Edited by Aditya Singh
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