Bairstow and Moeen remind us how hard it is to resist a yo-yo trick

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Last week we suggested that the adaptability of Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali was a key reason why they had become yo-yos for England. There are two sides to this.

Firstly, the fact that the two men can each perform so many ‘roles’ means that Test openings materialise more frequently for them than for other players.

Secondly, when they’re in form, the temptation to employ them to plug a gap elsewhere in the side becomes just too great and before you know it, they don’t know who they are any more, they’re out of form and they’re dropped again.

You could almost feel it happen on day three at Lord’s.

Bairstow’s fifty was further evidence of diminished fragility after his encouraging showing in the first Test. (Solidity would be pushing it.) This didn’t feel too significant in itself, until a flakey drive from Jos Buttler, at which point you could sense a contingency plan being formed.

Then Moeen Ali came in and batted like a prince for a little bit. “Wait!” someone shouted before he could edge one to slip. “I’ve an innovative leftfield idea about how we could address the seemingly unresolvable niggling weaknesses at the top of the order!”

Probably neither of these yo-yo tricks will happen this time around. But you can see how they do.


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  1. Moeen Ali: The Fresh Prince of Great Barr.

    One for those of us who grew up in Birmingham in the early 1990s.

    You had to be there.

  2. England to win.

    India to lose openers early and after a brief renaissance from Jadeja and Pant, will post a target that England will overhaul for the loss of only a couple of wickets.

    You heard it here first

      1. Turns out that it is impossible to account for an England brain fade and an 89 run 9th wicket partnership.

        Was expecting a target of 150-160 and England’s top order playing themselves into form, rather than what we ended up with.

  3. A totally different train of thought but please can someone else say that they saw Ravi Bopara’s dive in the Hundred last night that made his trousers come down.

    Kudos to him for that, I also enjoyed the way that he seemed to purposely take a long time about pulling them back up again.

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