England's Jonny Bairstow would like a bit more positivity around the place. Picture: AP
England's Jonny Bairstow would like a bit more positivity around the place. Picture: AP

‘Bloody hell’: Poms’ in-fighting ignites

JONNY Bairstow has claimed pundits want England to lose, as his team tries to avoid World Cup humiliation.

The hosts have received a stream of criticism from cricket greats, including ex-captains Kevin Pietersen and Michael Vaughan, The Sun reports.

Opening batsman Bairstow said: "People were waiting for us to fail. They are not willing us on to win.

"In many ways they are waiting for you to get that loss so they can jump on your throat.

"It's a typical English thing to do, in every sport.

"It's part and parcel of modern life, I'm afraid. You can't be seen doing anything without someone having an opinion on it."

Bairstow said he was even mocked by a taxi driver the morning after England's second consecutive loss in the game against Australia at Lord's on Tuesday.

Then he felt ambushed when a tape of Vaughan saying this could become England's worst World Cup was played to him during an interview with BBC Radio on Wednesday.

Pietersen went as far as accusing captain Eoin Morgan of being scared when facing Aussie fast bowler Mitchell Starc.

Bairstow added: "People are paid to have an opinion, so they've got to have one.

"Because we've done so well in recent years they are always going to jump on any opportunity now we've lost two games.

"I was on the radio on Wednesday morning and was surprised with a clip of Vaughan's comments. Bloody hell.

"That's pretty rich. He struck at 70 (Vaughan's one-day international strike-rate was actually 68.39, Bairstow's is 105.36).

"Of course people are going to say things. Any excuse to have a dip at X, Y and Z is a very easy thing. If he doesn't have an opinion, he gets sacked.

"Mobile phones, that's the world at the moment.

"You walk down the street wearing the wrong pair of trainers and your sponsors fire you. It's as dumb as that."

It was Australia’s day at Lords.
It was Australia’s day at Lords.

England might need to beat both India and New Zealand in their final two group matches to reach the semi-finals.

They expect the crowd at Edgbaston on Sunday to be heavily pro-India and will hope for a quicker pitch than those in Birmingham so far.

Bairstow, speaking at a Chance to Shine school as part of Yorkshire Tea cricket week, said: "The pitches we've been playing on the last two years are surely the pitches we should be playing on in a World Cup, so I don't know why they've changed.

"That's just factual. But I'm not making excuses - we've not played well enough to beat sides when we should have done. We know that."

- This story originally appeared on thesun.co.uk and has been re-published with permission