Brendon McCullum believes Australia will have to “live with” their decision not to call up Jonny Bairstow after his controversial sham at Lord’s – and says England could channel their frustration into making history by coming back from 2-0 down to win back the Ashes.
The third Test of an increasingly divided series begins at Headingley on Thursday, with Australian coach Andrew McDonald saying he was disappointed with McCollum’s reaction after Sunday’s second Test ended on 43 runs for the tourists.
When asked if he thought the dismissal of Bairstow – baffled by Alex Carey after letting his crease at the end of the game before the officials deemed the ball dead – would affect the spirit between the two sides, the England manager replied: ‘I imagine it would. Affect him, I think it should be. In the end, they make a play, and they have to live with that. We were going to do a different play, but that’s life.
We think we can still come back in this series. There are times when you as a coach have to reduce feelings, because they will pass and you can make bad decisions. And there are times when you let the emotion go, because it will stimulate loneliness.
Brendon McCollum (R) said Australia will have to ‘live’ with its decision not to recall Jonny Bairstow following his controversial dismissal on Sunday at Lords.
Bristow (right) was run out by Alex Carey (rear left) after the wicket-keeper – the England batsman had come out of his crease at the end of an over
McCollum acknowledged that Bristow was out under the letter of the law, but implied that his team would have made a “different play” and recalled Bristow had they been wearing Pat Cummins (front) shoes.
This is what I felt on the part of these feelings. I looked around the group and the guys were a little annoyed. If it helps us win those important moments in the next test, I’m all for it.
McCollum acknowledged that Bristow was out by law, but questioned whether his dismissal was in the spirit of the game.
“With the benefit of time and maturity as a player, you understand how important the spirit of the game is, and you make decisions that you sometimes look back on and say, ‘Did I get that right? “
Technically, it was out. I just suspect Johnny wasn’t looking to try and run. He felt that the umpires had hinted that it was “over”, and that the evidence supported that. It’s incredibly disappointing, because he’s a great player in the run chases, too. You always look at things like that and think: Jeez, what could it have been?
McCollum has been accused of hypocrisy, particularly in Australia, after he was involved in two controversial matches during his playing days for New Zealand.
At Bulawayo in August 2005, Zimbabwe’s No. 11 Chris Mpofu was run out after leaving his crease to congratulate teammate Blessing Mahwire on his maiden Test fiftieth. Then, in December 2006, he did the same to Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka, who walked around to shake hands with centurion Kumar Sangakkara. Either way, the ball wasn’t dead, though McCollum has since admitted he regrets his actions.
He said, “I made an apology to Morali at Cowdrey’s lecture.” As a young man, I didn’t quite understand the importance of what esprit de corps meant. It is the decisive point in the game compared to others. We’ll see, but in time I have a feeling it might have an effect [Australia]”.
In the end, they won the Test match and fair play to them. It’s a shame when you’ve got millions of people all over the world, and you’ve got a full house here at Lord’s, probably the most popular aspect of the next couple of days is just that. “
With Australia still angry about the treatment their players received from some MCC members on the wing, MacDonald defended Carey’s actions. “There is no doubt when a player leaves his flex at certain intervals, you take that opportunity.
‘It’s as if the bowler is running down the wicket to Nathan Lyon – does he take the opportunity to launch a ball down the leg side because it has left his crease?’ You see an opportunity run out, you throw at the bowler’s end.
McCollum believed the closeness of the first two Tests (at Edgbaston, his team lost by two wickets) meant England could emulate the 1936-37 Australians and come from 2-0 down to win.
The wicket meant Australia would go on to win at Lords and take a 2-0 lead in the Ashes series
While McCollum also insisted he was ‘out’, he maintained that the stunt was not in the spirit of the game
Stuart Broad (right) taunted the Australian team after Bairstow was dismissed, sarcastically asserting that his bat was still in a crease at the end of the multiple balls
He said, “Three or two he’s got a nice ring for him.” We have to polish some areas where the game was on a knife edge and we just couldn’t grab it. We knew entering this series was going to be tight and there would be those moments. If we can do this, there is no reason why we can’t recover.
If that meant lashing out at England for hitting hard in the first innings at Lord’s, where Ollie Pope, Ben Duckett and Joe Root fell in quick succession on the short ball, McCollum stopped short of saying his players had erred.
“The way we try to be clear in our thinking and believe in our decisions, immersing ourselves in that, is what we believe in. There will be times when it doesn’t work and we’ll suffer criticism. That’s just the nature of playing at the top level.
Meanwhile, England have yet to decide on Pope’s involvement at Headingley after he had a scan on his right shoulder which he sustained on the field at Lord’s on Monday. If he is left out, Essex’s Dan Lawrence could make his Ashes debut.