Jonny Bairstow. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Jonny Bairstow. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ben Stokes said “wow” was the only word to describe Jonny Bairstow’s recent form after his unbeaten 71 off 44 balls took England to a whitewash-clinching seven-wicket victory against New Zealand on the final day in Leeds.
Jonny Bairstow is the world’s leading scorer in Test cricket this year with 774 runs – including four hundred – at an average of 64.50 in 2022, and scored 394 runs off 328 balls this month, including 77 and 95-ball centuries at Trent Bridge and Headingley respectively. His strike rate against New Zealand (120.12) was the second-highest in Test history by a batter scoring more than 300 runs in a series.
Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow
Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow (Credits: Twitter)

Ben Stokes Felt The Way Jonny Barstow Was Playing In The 3 Tests Against Kiwis Was Phenomenal

Ben Stokes said that his plan with Jonny Bairstow had been to make him feel “comfortable” with his role in the side as an attacking middle-order batter at No. 5.
“Just take him to the role in the white-ball team: he’s very clear, very specific, he knows exactly what he’s doing every time he steps out there to play,” Ben Stokes said.
“And I feel what we’ve managed to do – not just with Jonny – is just instill [the idea that] ‘this is what we want this team to be about’. Not specifically individuals, but what it’s done is allow people to feel comfortable in the role that they are in at the moment,” Ben Stokes said.
Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes (Credits: Twitter)
I’d never heard a bloke get 130 off 90 balls [136 off 92] the week before and then ask his head coach, ‘how shall I go out and play?’ Baz [Brendon McCullum] then said, ‘go and get your Sudoku book and come and sit next to me and shut up’, basically. Whatever you did last week worked, go and do it again,” Ben Stokes said.
“With Jonny, he knows what he’s in the team to do now and he knows how he wants to play and that’s something that he’s managed to do with the white-ball group. He’s literally playing like he’s got the colours on. He’s just ‘wow’. That’s how I can explain the way he’s playing at the moment. It’s just phenomenal,” Ben Stokes said.
Ben Stokes added that Jonny Bairstow’s first-innings hundred was “even better” than his innings in the run chase at Trent Bridge after England had slipped to 21 for 4 and then 55 for 6.

“To back up that amazing knock at Trent Bridge with the performance in both innings this week was something very special,” he said.
“The Trent Bridge innings was obviously amazing to watch. But personally, I think the hundred in the first innings was even better than last week. The circumstances he found himself in at 55 for 6 and being out there and still managing to score a hundred at over a run a ball is something very, very special and should never be overlooked,” Ben Stokes said.
“The most pleasing thing for me about this week was the situation we found ourselves in and how we continued to play. To end up with a lead after being 55 for 6 and now, to end up winning the game, is something very special. I know that the confidence that it’s going to give the group: it’s going to give us a hell of a lot of confidence going forward, especially when we find ourselves in tricky situations as well.”

Jonny Bairstow took Test cricket by the scruff of the neck with 394 runs in the three-match series against New Zealand at an eye-watering strike rate of over 120. The next best strike rate in the series among batters with a minimum of 100 runs was 82.55 by Ben Stokes who scored almost half the runs of Jonny Bairstow. Jonny Bairstow struck two centuries and one half-century in the series.

Brendon McCullum Will Back Zak Crawley

Meanwhile, Brendon McCullum said he will continue to encourage opener Zak Crawley to “chase great moments” despite a lean series against New Zealand which saw him make 87 runs in six innings and culminated in a frenetic, shot-a-ball 25 in the run chase at Headingley. Zak Crawley’s career average dipped to 26.68 as a result but he has been retained in the 15-man squad to play India at Edgbaston on Friday and looks set to win his 25th Test cap.
“[I’ll] talk to him the same way as if he’s come off three hundreds,” Brendon McCullum said. “To me, he’s a rare talent and I don’t think there’s too many people in world cricket that can play like he does. When I first came in and saw him play in the nets, and watched some of his old innings and some of the footage to get an understanding of him as a player, it pretty quickly stood out that he’s got something that other players don’t have.”
“So my message was, ‘there’s 10,000 players out there that can play the other way [but] there’s only a handful that can play how you do, so just be the best version of yourself.’ And I’ll keep trying to encourage him to do that.”
Zak Crawley. (Image Credits: Getty)
Zak Crawley. (Image Credits: Getty)
“And the other thing is just to chase great moments. He’s never going to be a consistent type of cricketer; it’s just that he’s that dynamic that he’s not going to be consistent but when he has his day, he’s going to win matches and we’ve just got to make sure that he’s courageous enough to keep stepping up, even if things don’t haven’t necessarily gone that well. I’ve got confidence in him for sure.”
England finished the series against New Zealand in style by chasing down 296 without much trouble. With the win, the hosts clean swept the three-match series against the reigning World Test Champions. For the third time in a row in the series, the Ben Stokes-led side had to chase in the fourth innings and they chased it down in style. England lost only three wickets as they chased down 296 on day five of the Test.

The chase did not begin on a good note for the hosts as their openers departed cheaply. While Alex Lees scored 9, Zak Crawley departed for 25 to leave their side reeling at 51 for 2. But from thereon, it was one-way traffic as England thoroughly dominated the chase. Ollie Pope, Joe Root, and Jonny Bairstow hit cracking fifties to seal another memorable win for their side.