Why did England replace Ballance with Bairstow? (Adam F, via Twitter)
But maybe there are other reasons?
England win % when either is playing
Excluding the Sydney test in 2013-14 when both were playing, Ballance played 14 matches and Bairstow 13.
Out of Ballance’s 14 matches, England has won 6 (42.9%), and of Bairstow’s 13, they’ve won 8 (61.5%).
So Bairstow causes more wins than Ballance, but how about against Australia?
Records against Australia
Against Australia, both have similar records. Ballance averages 20.50 with a high score of 61, while Bairstow is slightly better, averaging 21.90 and a top score of 67.
Records in the third Test of a series
These two have played in a 3rd Test six times, twice for Ballance and four times for Bairstow.
Ballance averages 58 runs in 3rd tests, a personal record. Bairstow averages 33, but his best score was in a 3rd Test.
Records after a loss
This would be the clincher. If Bairstow is a specialist at lifting morale after a loss, then of course they’d put him in.
In matches after a loss, Bairstow has scored 10, 21, 18, and 0. That’s 49 runs, at an average of 12.25. Those matches were the last two of his career, during the 2013-14 Ashes collapse.
Ballance, on the other hand, has 18, 7, 23, 104*, 71, 156, 38, 1, 0, 61, and 0. 479 runs at an average of 47.9.
So, Adam, the answer to your question: The ECB needed a scapegoat, and they chose Ballance. They replaced him with Bairstow because the alternative was KP.
Although that’s not such a bad idea…