Jonny Bairstow suggests India to produce different pitches for Tests

Having drawn the two-match Test series against South Africa, India’s next assignment in the World Test Championship (2023-25) cycle is a five-match series against England beginning on January 25. England announced their squad for the series in December 2023. They are looking forward to beating India in a Test series in their home after 12 years.

Recently, England wicketkeeper-batter Jonny Bairstow opened up about the pitches they’re going to get in India. He stated that if they prepare spinning tracks, they’re negating their seam threat.

“Look, I’m sure the pitches will turn: it’s whether or not they’ll turn from day one, which potentially negates a bit of their strength in their seam attack. We know how strong they are. India can produce different pitches: it doesn’t have to turn. We’ve seen how potent their seam attack has been recently,” said Bairstow on Sky Sports.

The 34-year-old further recalled their last series in India when England got off to a great start by winning the first Test by a huge margin as captain, but the spin-twins of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel helped India make a comeback.

“Obviously, the last time Axar and Ashwin played well. You forget that in that first Test match, the guys played really well, Rooty (Joe Root) got a double (hundred) in the first Test match in Chennai and then conditions changed quite drastically,” he added.

England last beat India in a Test series in 2012

Notably, Ashwin finished as the leading wicket-taker of the last Test series between the two teams in India played in 2021 where he scalped 32 wickets from eight innings at an average of 14.71 and an economy of 2.50. On the other hand, Axar Patel, playing in his debut series, finished as the second-highest wicket-taker with 27 scalps as India won the series 3-1.

Meanwhile, England was the last team to beat India at home in a Test series, as the Alastair Cook-led side edged past MS Dhoni and his men by 2-1 in 2012. Hence, Ben Stokes and Co. will take some inspiration from their previous side to end India’s long unbeaten home run.