DAVID LLOYD: Jonny Bairstow has shown the folly of England's selection

BUMBLE ON THE TEST: Jonny Bairstow has shown the folly of England’s selection with stunning SCG ton in the toughest of conditions… and he’s shown why they should have attacked Nathan Lyon from day one!

  • England managed to salvage pride on the third day of the fourth Ashes Test
  • The tourists appeared to be in trouble at 36-4 as a collapse seemed probable
  • But Jonny Bairstow helped England to to reach the close of play 158 runs behind
  • Bairstow managed a brilliant 103 not out to reach his seventh Test hundred

England salvaged some pride on the third day of the fourth Ashes Test thanks to Jonny Bairstow’s brilliant 103 not out. 

The tourists were in real trouble at 36-4 but Bairstow managed his seventh Test hundred – his first in 38 innings – under tough conditions to help England to reach the close of play 158 runs behind with three wickets left. 

Here, Sportsmail’s DAVID LLOYD offers his thoughts and insights into the day’s play.  

Jonny Bairstow managed 103 not out for England on the third day of the fourth Ashes Test

We have said time and again Jonny Bairstow has been hard done by and he showed the folly of much of England’s selection again at the SCG.

He’s got seven Test hundreds now and this one was made in the toughest of conditions. It was a truly wonderful innings.

It’s taken until the third day of the fourth Test on an indifferent pitch for England to find the right way to play Nathan Lyon.  He’s gone for 71 in 12 overs with no maidens! 

They should have attacked him from day one, just as Australia did Jack Leach in Brisbane.

Nathan Lyon (pictured) endured a day to forget as England’s batsmen decided to take him on 

Watching Scott Boland in Sydney proved you don’t have to be quick to succeed as a seamer in Test cricket. 

Think Vernon Philander and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Boland is a similar bowler, operating with unerring accuracy. 

It’s why Ollie Robinson has a great chance of an outstanding Test career. He’s very much cut from the same cloth.

But it does beg the question. – why isn’t Chris Woakes a world-beater? 

He’s great in home conditions but struggles to replicate it away and he needs to look at the forensic length these bowlers find. 

There’s a magic length, there really is, and it’s a mystery why Woakes can’t find it because he has all the attributes of the others I’ve mentioned…

Chris Woakes (pictured) is great in home conditions but struggles to replicate the form away

There was plenty of movement behind the bowler’s arm and it was coming from the corporate boxes. They were dancing above the sightscreen! 

If that happened in the cheap seats they’d just get chucked out. It reminds me of all those champagne corks popped onto the Lord’s outfield. 

People seem to think it’s all very amusing but if it were at Durham and cans of Newcastle Brown were raining down there’d be an outrage….

My phone pinged in the wee small hours and there was a text from the Cold Feet actor and cricket enthusiast Robert Bathurst. 

Like me he’s a devotee of Half Man half Biscuit and wanted to tell me about their new album. 

It’s called the Voltarol Years and includes crackers like I’m Getting Buried in the Morning and Tess of the Dormobiles. 

I still hum along to their wonderful little ditty about Fred Titmus….

Great the old heckler Yabba was remembered on Test Match Special on Friday. 

Old heckler Yabba was remembered on Test Match Special and there is a statue of him at SCG

He used to bellow out from the old Sydney hill and there’s a statue of him there now even though the hill has long gone. 

He used to put his hand to his mouth like a megaphone and come out with things like ‘bowl him a piano and see if he can pay that.’ Players loved him….

And what Yabba used to shout out was much funnier than the verbals aimed at Bairstow and Ben Stokes as they walked off the ground at tea. 

I notice they shouted at them from a safe distance! 

I can tell you back in the day you used to get some very demure young ladies sitting there on the other side of the SCG pavilion. They never used to shout things like that!

England batsmen Jonny Bairstow (left) and Ben Stokes (right) stopped to confront an abusive spectator who told Bairstow to ‘lose some weight’ at the Sydney Cricket Ground

How about the delivery that smacked into Stokes off-stump and didn’t dislodge the bail? 

Paul Reiffel gave it out lbw and it had to be overturned on review. I have every sympathy for the umpire. 

He must have thought ‘his bat is nowhere near this.’ In the old days the umpires set the stumps up and the holes were saturated in water. Now they bake in the sun and the ground-staff smash them in with a hammer. 

It means the great sight of stumps flying out of the ground has almost gone from Test cricket…

Cameron Green’s delivery on day three hit Ben Stokes’ off stump but Stokes survived it

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