Gatting backing Bairstow to refind form at T20 World Cup

Mike Gatting believes Jonny Bairstow will bounce back from his run chase-sapping innings against Australia at the T20 World Cup.

The veteran wicket-keeper’s critics have been out in force after his seven from 13 balls contributed to a 36-run defeat that left England’s hopes in the Caribbean hanging by a thread.

After a frustrating wash-out against Scotland in their opening Group B encounter, Matthew Mott’s side now need needing convincing wins against both Oman and Namibia if they have any chance of progressing.

But as many lie the blame at Bairstow’s door, former England captain Gatting gave a reality check on the highs and lows that international cricket can bring.

“Everybody gets put under pressure,” said Gatting, speaking at a historic first cricket match at the iconic Oval gasholder organised by the Lord’s Taverners and Berkeley.

“He’s in the team to do a job and he hasn’t had a great game.

“It doesn’t always go well for you. Cricket’s a hard game. You don’t do as well as everybody thinks you should do.

“It’s a cruel game. You have good days and bad days. In fact, you have more bad days than good days.

“At the end of the day, that’s what form’s about. Sometimes you’re in good form, sometimes you’re not. Nothing more you can say.”

It has been a difficult World Cup campaign for the reigning champions so far, having seen their first game against Scotland rained off in a result that instantly put their progress in jeopardy.

Defeat against Australia then took their World Cup fate out of their hands – and while performances could have been better, Gatting can’t help but look to England’s bad luck as a reason for the mess they find themselves in.

“It is a little bit about luck, this T20 stuff,” he added.

“Having a game rained off put us under a bit of pressure and then losing to Australia, it was not the best start.

“We’ve got two games and sadly they’re games we must win. If the weather intervenes, we could be in a bit of trouble.

The world’s most iconic gasholder became the stage of a cricketing masterclass on Tuesday, as teams from the Lord’s Taverners, Surrey Cricket Club and Berkeley played matches at Oval Village in London.

“People might say well, ‘the weather didn’t help us’, but if they win the two games, I suspect that we should qualify.”

Gatting, and England and Surrey learning disabilities player, Jonny Gale took to the improvised crease to help celebrate the Berkeley Foundation’s £750,000 commitment to the ground-breaking Super 1s disability cricket programme.

This award-winning community cricket programme, which provides young people with a disability aged 12-25 the opportunity to play regular cricket and enjoy the benefits of playing sport, is delivered by the Lord’s Taverners in partnership with county cricket boards across the country.

Even with the difficulties England have endured, Gatting remains optimistic that they can challenge the big hitters this campaign, hopeful that they have learnt from their mistakes going into the final two group games.

“I’d like to think they’ll have learnt from the previous matches and sorted out what they need to do,” he said.

“Just watch others, how they’ve done it, how well they’ve bowled, the disciplines they’ve had to keep and just keep learning.”

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