Ben Foakes admits to 'feeling lost' after Ashes snub
Foakes watched the Ashes from the sidelines as he had to make way for Bairstow, who was returning from a long-term injury. Though Bairstow justified his selection with the bat, he was guilty of dropping several chances which brought his wicket-keeping under the scanner multiple times during the Ashes.
Regarded among the finest wicketkeepers globally, Foakes acknowledged his exclusion from the Ashes squad without any bitterness towards those selected.
"You feel a bit lost," Foakes told Telegraph Sport. "You get to exactly where you want to be, your career path is going a certain way and then it takes a halt and goes a completely different direction,"
"The guys who got picked have done well too. There's no sour grapes, it's just a weird head space. I've had quite a topsy-turvy career, then you are where you want to be, performing, dropped."
Before being dropped, Foakes had just started showing signs of consistency after being in and out of the England Test setup since making his debut in 2018. Of his 20 Tests, he played 10 since the start of 2022, during which he scored 400 runs at an average of 33.33 and also affected 37 catches and a stumping.
The 30-year-old scored a fifty and a century in the three Tests prior to his axing, with those runs often coming in difficult situations while batting with the tail. Foakes said he felt lost and uncertain after being dropped despite putting up great performances with the bat and behind the stumps.
"This time I'd done well and been happy with the way I'd been playing," Foakes added. You feel a bit lost. You get to exactly where you want to be, your career path is going a certain way and then it takes a halt and goes a completely different direction.
"It's a bit of a sinking feeling, because you don't really know what to do, because you can't tell yourself you didn't do well."
Foakes' focus now is on helping his team and defending champions Surrey retain their title in the County Championship. They are currently at the top of the standings after 11 games with three games to go.
However, he has admitted that not being considered for England consistently in Tests might force him to improve his white-ball play going forward.
"If I fully invest in red ball and you don't get in the team, you are left in the lurch a bit," Foakes concluded. "So I will probably use that period later this year to try to whack it."