England’s players-turned-pundits are paid to criticise the team and are waiting for the hosts to fail at the Cricket World Cup, opening batsman Jonny Bairstow has said.
Defeats to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia have left England in a precarious position and they are yet to seal a semi-final spot with two group stage matches remaining against India and New Zealand.
England have not defeated either side at the World Cup since 1992 and former skipper Michael Vaughan suggested it could be the hosts’ worst-ever campaign in the tournament if they are knocked out.
“People are waiting for us to fail,” Bairstow told reporters. “They are not willing us on to win. In many ways they are waiting for you to lose so they can jump on your throat.
“It’s just showbiz, they are paid to have an opinion and if they don’t have an opinion they get sacked.
“I was in a radio interview and was surprised with a clip of Vaughan’s comments. Bloody hell, that’s pretty rich. Everyone is talking like we are eighth or ninth in the table. Bloody Nora, chill out… You’re panicking.
“The comments and things like that, you can give it too much air time and then all of a sudden, before you know it, it’s a big thing and it’s actually really not.”
Michael Vaughan hits back at Bairstow:
Vaughan responded to Bairstow’s comments by saying the media was not at fault for England’s losses at the World Cup.
“How wrong can Bairstow be,” Vaughan wrote on Instagram. “Never has (the) England team had so much support but it’s you and your team that has disappointed Jonny. Win two games and you are in the semis… With this negative, pathetic mindset I am concerned though. It’s not the media’s fault you have lost three games.”
England’s next game is at Edgbaston on Sunday against an unbeaten Indian side that leapfrogged the hosts to become the number one ranked one-day international (ODI) side this week.
England prevented India from winning a 10th consecutive bilateral ODI series when Virat Kohli’s side toured the country last year.
Despite criticism about their approach at the World Cup, Bairstow said England would stick to their style and play the same aggressive cricket that has brought them success.
“It’s going to be interesting against India, we obviously know the following that they’ve got and it should be a cracking atmosphere,” the 29-year-old added.
“Last summer we played really good cricket against them and we won that series and we won it well, so I think we go about it the same way we went about it and have been going about our cricket. Our method doesn’t change.”
England might need to beat both India and New Zealand in their final two group matches to reach the semi-finals.
They expect the crowd at Edgbaston on Sunday to be heavily pro-India and will hope for a quicker pitch than those in Birmingham so far.
Bairstow, speaking at a Chance to Shine school as part of Yorkshire Tea cricket week, said: “The pitches we’ve been playing on the last two years are surely the pitches we should be playing on in a World Cup, so I don’t know why they’ve changed.