Bairstow barks back in fiery exchange with Ashwin, Stokes commits schoolboy error as India sink England



Jonny Bairstow’s gentlemanly spirit of cricket was nowhere to be found and Ben Stokes committed a schoolboy error as England were soundly beaten by 106 runs in the Second Test at Visakhapatnam.

Bairstow was involved in a fiery exchange with Ravichandran Ashwin after the English veteran was given out LBW at a crucial stage of the run-chase as the tourists went down swinging to be bowled out for 292 in pursuit of the improbably victory target of 399.

After he was trapped in front, Bairstow reacted to Ashwin celebrating close by, appearing to mouth “fuck off” to the feisty spinner.

He reviewed the decision but was sent on his way for 26 when the replay ruled the ball was hitting leg stump on an umpire’s call.

Bairstow, who complained bitterly after being legitimately stumped last year during the Ashes, could face a sanction from the match referee for his outburst.

His dismissal came on the stroke of lunch on day four to reduce England to 6-194.

Stokes fell early in the second session when he cantered down the pitch for what should have been an easy single but was then caught short of his ground by a direct hit from Shreyas Iyer.

He seemed to jog through before speeding up at the end when it was too late as the throw came in.

The skipper’s unneccessary departure for 11 left his side at 7-220 and virtually no hope of victory.

Bumrah mopped up the tail for India to level the series at 1-1.

VISAKHAPATNAM, INDIA - FEBRUARY 05: England batsman Jonny Bairstow leaves the field after being given out after review during day four of the 2nd Test Match between India and England at ACA-VDCA Stadium on February 05, 2024 in Visakhapatnam, India. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England batter Jonny Bairstow leaves the field after being given out in Visakhapatnam. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Earlier, left-arm spinner Axar Patel removed Rehan Ahmed, who did a decent job as England’s nightwatchman by scoring a brisk 23.

Ashwin then rattled England by dismissing Ollie Pope and Joe Root in successive overs.

Pope made 23 before edging the off-spinner and the ball stuck to Rohit Sharma’s outstretched left hand at slip.

Root, nursing a finger injury, smashed Patel for a six but gifted his wicket when he danced down the track to hit Ashwin and ended up offering a top-edge to Patel at backward point.

Zak Crawley (73) batted with characteristic aggression, and Bairstow also looked set before they departed in successive overs.

Crawley was initially adjudged not out after Kuldeep Yadav hit him on the pad. The spinner coaxed India captain Rohit Sharma to challenge the decision, which was overturned on review.

The third Test in Rajkot begins on February 15.

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