Bairstow Faces Pressure in 100th Test Following Disappointing India Series


Bairstow is set to play his 100th Test for England in the chilly Himalayan hill town, Dharamsala, as they aim to salvage pride after losing the series 3-1 to India. Ravichandran Ashwin, India’s spinner, is also eyeing his 100th Test match. Bairstow, primarily in the team as a specialist batsman, has struggled, scoring only 170 runs at an average of 21.25 in the series. The 34-year-old has faced challenges since returning to the team last year after a leg injury. Despite showing glimpses of form, he has not scored a century in his last 10 Tests. Former England captain Michael Vaughan expressed concerns about Bairstow’s performance, highlighting the importance of his 100th cap while acknowledging the possibility of missing out on the 101st. The match in Dharamsala might see changes in England’s lineup, with Ollie Robinson’s place in jeopardy. The weather and the picturesque ground’s high altitude could be significant factors, with temperatures possibly dropping to 1C (33.8 Fahrenheit). India’s pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah will return, and the focus will be on Ashwin, who has 507 Test wickets. India, having won the previous match in Ranchi, aims to maintain their unbeaten home series record since 2012. New talent like Dhruv Jurel and Sarfaraz Khan has emerged for India in the absence of Virat Kohli and the injured KL Rahul. Batsman Devdutt Padikkal might make his debut, replacing Rajat Patidar. Yashasvi Jaiswal leads the series batting with 655 runs, while England’s Tom Hartley is the leading wicket-taker with 20.

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