Jonny Bairstow has underlined that England is looking at Test match cricket in an entirely new way after his brilliant innings against New Zealand.
Jonny Bairstow said England was determined to redefine and reinvent Test cricket following his brilliant day’s play against New Zealand. England is embarking on a new era under skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brandon McCullum, and they have been incredibly aggressive with the bat in the series so far.
Jonny Bairstow Reckons England Will Take Test Cricket Forward
After bowling New Zealand out for 329, England came to the crease intent to slog their way to a position of dominance. However, some brilliant Trent Boult swing bowling had them reeling at 55 for six. Even that didn’t deter England, with Jonny Bairstow (130 not out) and Jamie Overton (89 not out) smashing an unbeaten 209 partnership to haul them back into the game.
“We are still in the infancy of it, only a couple of games in, but what I will say is we are looking to take the (Test) game forward,” Jonny Bairstow said. “We’re definitely looking at it in a different way.”
“There’s different ways of looking at it. You can go into your shell and bat the way people have done for years and years and years – try to survive against bowlers like Trent Boult and Tim Southee when they’re bowling so well – but you need to transfer the momentum. You need to take them off their lengths.”
“We’re going out and expressing ourselves, taking the game forward and hopefully playing in ways that can change games. That’s how you win games of cricket. Whether it’s a bowler taking five, six or seven wickets, or batters scoring hundreds – that’s what you need people to stand up with. We are looking to impose ourselves at the crease and put pressure back on to the bowlers which is in some ways a very different way of looking at it.”
Jonny Bairstow and Jamie Overton finished day two with an unbeaten stand of 209 in 37.1 overs, scoring at a breezy 5.62 runs per over. The duo joined hands when England was faltering at 55-6, with none of the top four making it to double figures. By the end of the day’s play, however, England only trailed by 64 runs to the Kiwis’ first-innings score of 329.
Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, and Ollie Pope scored 4, 6, and 5 runs respectively as Trent Boult ended their plans. The real trouble fell for the hosts when Joe Root was cleaned up by Tim Southee for just five runs. Ben Stokes also fell cheaply for 18 runs but it was Jonny Bairstow yet again who revived the innings.
Jonny Bairstow Felt It Was Special To Score A Test Ton At Home
Jonny Bairstow’s brilliant knock was not only invaluable to England’s hopes to clean sweep the Test series but it was also one that was special to him personally. He is a proud Yorkshireman who always seems to enjoy playing at Headingly and this time was no different.
“Being a Yorkshire lad, scoring a Test hundred at home is pretty special. My family and my mates are here as well,” he said.
“Every time you score a Test hundred it’s emotional. People know what I’m like – it means so much for me to play Test cricket for England and that’s the kind of guy I am. I wear my heart on my sleeve, which isn’t always everyone’s cup of tea.”
Jonny Bairstow also saved some words for pacer Jamie Overton, who needs just 11 runs on Saturday to get a Test century on debut.
“Jamie played unbelievably,” Bairstow said. “I guess it helps being 6ft 5in but blooming heck, that was some seriously special striking; unbelievable hitting.
“Hopefully in the morning we will be able to experience him getting his maiden Test hundred which would be absolutely lovely.”
Jonny Bairstow, who earned the ‘Player of the Match’ award in the second Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, reached his ton only off 95 balls. Trent Boult and Tim Southee wreaked havoc on the hosts’ top order, with the former picking up three wickets.
England 264 for 6 (Bairstow 130*, Overton 89*) trail New Zealand 329 (Mitchell 109, Blundell 55, Leach 5-100) by 65 runs