Jonny Bairstow press conference (screengrab from ESPNCricinfo video)
You can fight hard for a couple of innings, but when all seems lost it can become really hard to summon the enthusiasm and make any real effort. You can’t judge people too harshly on what happens in these circumstances.
You might consider that a comment on England’s later efforts in this match, but it’s actually our way of saying that after several nights of trying to watch live coverage, we didn’t bother denying ourself any sleep for day five.
After all, there were already enough things eating into our eyes-closed downtime: a baby, a cough, someone else’s cough and, most significantly for the purposes of today’s article, the cat.
Monty’s idea of a friendly greeting is a headbutt. It is a friendly act, even if he does for some reason think that 4am is the optimal time to express his feelings. He does it to deposit facial pheromones on us and so reaffirm that we’re part of the Monty Gang.
And so to Jonny Bairstow.
According to Cameron Bancroft, “he says hello to people very differently from most others.”
Apparently he does it with a headbutt. “There was nothing malicious about his actions,” added Bancroft. “He didn’t knock me over. I’ve actually got the heaviest head in the West Australian squad, it’s been measured. There’s an actual measurement for it.”
It seems clear that Bairstow was essentially ‘claiming’ Bancroft using his special smell. It’s worth noting that he caught the opener in the first innings, but couldn’t dismiss him in the second. Something had changed.
Pheromones don’t last forever. They need refreshing. If Bancroft gets a 4am knock on his hotel door, he knows what to expect.