I was right to snub nightwatchman on first day of fifth Ashes Test and if I had to make that decision again, I would
- Bairstow came under fire after he was dismissed by the final ball of the day
- England batsman felt he was the right person to deal with second new ball
- Players looking forward to the fresh challenge of five-match 50-over series
When you come on a trip to Australia you arrive with very high hopes but the bottom line is we did not play well enough for long enough to win the series.
There were periods that, if they had gone differently, could have led to a very different overall result but give credit to Australia because they outplayed us.
We needed to do the good things for longer. All the batters scored runs but not the 500-600 in a series that wins you the Ashes.
Jonny Bairstow helped England claim a five-wicket win over Cricket Australia XI on Thursday
The decision to snub the use of Mason Crane as nightwatchman on the first evening became a talking point but consider this: how many times do you face the second new ball coming in to bat as a No 6 or No 7? Quite a few, I would guess.
That was something I considered and felt I was the best person to come out and deal with the remaining 18 balls that evening.
Would I make that decision again? Yes, I would.
For Australia it was really one guy who made the difference. If you took Aussie captain Steve Smith's runs from any side it would make a huge difference.
Bairstow had come under fire for decision to snub the use of Mason Crane as nightwatchman
And although he scored 687, they had a bowling attack who bowled with sustained pace — 88mph on average through the Perth Test. Remember, that's an average speed, not the odd ball.
We learned plenty. In an Ashes series you have to adapt quickly to the conditions and your rivals. If you don't, you get found out.
I have also been thinking on the fact that recent Ashes results have almost always gone to the team playing in their own conditions. It is therefore natural that attention will turn to the next series but for me 2019 is still quite a long time away.
If all the Australians stay fit then it will be a tough series. Having guys like Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins bowling at 90mph consistently will be just as difficult to face in our own conditions.
England's batsman could not build on decent starts during the Ashes series in Australia
I was taking stock in the final Test. The 20th anniversary of my dad David's death coincided with my 50th Test cap and for it to be my mum Janet's birthday, too, made it an emotional few days. It was not an easy week, being the Pink Test and my mum having had breast cancer twice. But it was fantastic to have her and my sister, Becky, around all the way through.
Going into the final day in Sydney, captain Joe Root was in a bad way. To be in hospital with a stomach upset and then come back and go out to bat said everything about him. Thankfully he seems to be on the mend.
Attention now turns to a five-match 50-over series. It's exciting to be involved and a different group of players will try to impact positively on the tour.
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