Bairstow backs English crowds in decision to boo Smith, Warner

Bairstow England PA

Jonny Bairstow is expecting England fans to give Australia duo David Warner and Steve Smith a hostile reception this summer.

The pair were banned from the Australia team for a year over a ball-tampering incident in the third Test against South Africa in March 2018.

Smith and team-mate David Warner have been met with a hostile reception following year-long bans for ball tampering, but Archer has stuck up for the former.

Bairstow though believes that pleas from both Australia coach Justin Langer and India captain Virat Kohli for fans not to boo the pair will fall on deaf ears.

“I am not sure that makes any difference,” Bairstow told the Daily Telegraph.

“The fans will react however they want, particularly in the Ashes. It is a bit pointless pleading with them not to boo Smith or Warner.

“There is a fine line as well. There was a time not that long ago when the then-Australia coach, Darren Lehmann, was telling the Australian crowd to ‘send Stuart Broad home crying’.

“I am sure it was not meant maliciously, but for Australians then to say ‘do not boo these guys’ is interesting. It has to work both ways.

“I’m not saying it is right or wrong. But to have the mentality ‘we can do it to you, but you cannot do it to us’ is a bit strange.”

Bairstow of course was a team-mate of Warner at Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, and he had nothing but praise for the opener’s ability.

“David Warner is an amazing cricketer. He studies bowling and was pretty generous with his knowledge when I played alongside him.

“Run-ins on the pitch do happen. England and Australia have a fierce rivalry (but) there are more important things in life than holding a grudge over what someone has said to you on a cricket field.”