Former England captains Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain have hit out at the English selectors for resting Jonny Bairstow for the first two Tests against India.
Taking to Twitter, Vaughan proclaimed that “the world is officially mad”, alluding to England’s decision to leave out the wicketkeeper-batsman for the opening two Tests of the four-match series in India.
The only player in England’s Top 3 that’s playing the sub continent conditions with any control or calmness is resting for the first 2 Tests against the best Team in world at home #India !!! The world is officially mad ... #SLvENG— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) January 23, 2021
"The only player in England's Top 3 that's playing the sub continent conditions with any control or calmness is resting for the first 2 Tests against the best Team in world at home #India !!! The world is officially mad," tweeted Vaughan.
Interestingly, England have rested Bairstow, Mark Wood and Sam Curran for the first two Tests against India, while Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Rory Burns -- who are not a part of the Sri Lanka series -- have been recalled.
Hussain said it was a concern that one of England's best three players of spin, Bairstow, has been given a boarding pass home and the others are going to Chennai.
"I would say it's a concern that one of England's best three players of spin -- I would say Bairstow is alongside Joe Root and Ben Stokes in that -- has been given a boarding pass home and the others are going to Chennai. I'd have to rethink," Hussain wrote in his column for Sky Sports.
"England fans switching on when it is turning and England are 20/2 may well have the argument, 'I want to see our best batsman against spin, or one of them, in Bairstow."
"If the next Test after this series was Brisbane in the Ashes, would we send our best side? So why when it's the first Test against India, one of the great sides, aren't we sending our best team? It is that balancing act of being fair to the public and winning what's in front of you and long-term planning all year," he added.
After the completion of the ongoing second Test against Sri Lanka, England will be touring India for four Tests, five T20Is and three ODIs beginning February 5. Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium will host the first two Test matches while the remaining two Tests will be held at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.
England squad (for the first two Tests): Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Paul Ellis