Former England skipper Joe Root has appealed to the crowd at his home ground of Headingley, urging them to remain calm amidst mounting concerns regarding a potential negative reaction following the contentious stumping of his teammate Jonny Bairstow at Lord's.
Bairstow, under the assumption that the ball had been declared dead and the over had ended, unintentionally vacated his crease as wicketkeeper Alex Carey launched a throw towards the stumps, resulting in his dismissal on the final day of the second test, which Australia won by 43 runs to go 2-0 up in the five-match series.
The controversial dismissal of Bairstow triggered an ugly altercation between members of MCC and Australia players -- Usman Khawaja and David Warner -- at the Lord's Long Room when the hosts walked off for lunch.
"Support England. I think that's the most important thing, that you come in to support your nation, doesn't need to go beyond that. It shouldn't ever go beyond that. Everyone should be here to enjoy the cricket on the field. And that's what it should be about and shouldn't be about anything other than that," Root was quoted by The Age.
Root expected wicketkeeper-batsman Bairstow would be highly motivated and eager to perform in the third Test, starting on Thursday.
"Jonny thrives off things like this. I'm sure he will want to entertain the local crowd. I think it is set up nicely for him, but you have still got to go and do it."
"I don't think he took it great," Root said. I don't think anyone would they. He felt a bit hard done by. I don't think anyone will be leaving their crease this week," he said.
However, concerns about the crowd did not stop Root from criticising Australia wicketkeeper Carey for dismissing Bairstow and skipper Pat Cummins for not withdrawing the appeal.
"Personally, I try and put myself in that situation, that position, and I’d like to think I would have dealt with it very differently. I think Ben spoke very well on it at the end of the game. As a team, we want to play our cricket a certain way and want to leave a certain legacy," Root said.
“I said everyone’s entitled to their opinion. Everyone will see it very differently. As a player, you want to play the game how you want to play it. It was within the rules, it was technically out. If you’re happy with that, then fine. If not, I don’t think you can (criticise) other people that play the game slightly differently," he added.
England go into the Headingley Test trailing 2-0, and will look to secure a win as they strive to keep their Ashes hopes alive.