Ashes: Jonny Bairstow admits England have to be ‘stronger and tougher’ after top order crumbles again

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  • Jonny Bairstow
    Jonny Bairstow
    English cricketer (born 1989)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Jonny Bairstow accepted that England have to be “stronger and tougher” when defending their wickets after a slew of ugly dismissals saw them bowled out for just 185 after being asked to bat first in the Boxing Day Test.

Anything but victory ends England’s slim hopes of regaining the Ashes, and one day in, they find themselves on the brink due to another hapless batting display.

Senior players Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler all fell to horror dismissals in the middle session, while Bairstow – batting with the tail in his first innings of series – got himself in a real tangle to Mitchell Starc’s bouncer and was caught in the gully after tea for 35.

England are yet to post 300 in the series, and have not scored an individual century.

“We’ve got to get a bit stronger and tougher with our dismissals,” said Bairstow.

“We know that and we’ve spoken about that. That is just being honest with ourselves. We saw in the second innings at Adelaide that we could bat for a period of time and put a lot on each of our wickets. When it comes round to the second innings here that’s exactly what we have to do.

“It’s about finding a way. It’s about finding a way of scoring runs individually.”

Bairstow was insistent that England are “still in the game”, because – despite being only 124 behind – the pitch is expected to remain relatively lively.

“We come back in the morning really pumped and ready to make a difference in this game,” he said.

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