Jonny Bairstow and the battling ton
The series may be lost, but the Yorkshireman’s century has at least given England fans something to smile about this winter
It has been a series to forget for England. On too many occasions, Australia have dominated with the bat and ball resulting in the hosts wrapping up the series with two games to spare.
Australia’s first innings in the fourth test at Sydney made it feel as though it would be a case of ‘here we go again’ for England.
This was even more so when England slumped to 36–4 with the bat. Another collapse seemed imminent, that was until Jonny Bairstow joined Ben Stokes at the crease.
The pair shone for a large part of day three, digging their side out of a hole. Stokes was impressive, but the day belonged to Bairstow.
His place in the test side has been questioned in the past, and he has been in and out of the side in recent times.
However, he stood tall when his country needed him the most. His gutsy century, which is still ongoing, has dragged England to a respectable score.
Bairstow’s century must not mask yet another top order batting collapse. At 36–4, England were in dire straits once again, but on this occasion the middle order has come to the rescue.
Bairstow was supported well by Stokes but also by Mark Wood who, coming in at number eight in the order, raced to 39 off just 41 balls.
This Bairstow innings is something which England fans have seen on numerous occasions in the past.
His gutsy display came at a time where England were desperate for a player to stay at the crease for an extended period of time.
The Yorkshireman’s test career is now 10 years old and counting, and the ton in Sydney is his seventh in the red ball format.
In the coming months, his place in the side will most likely get questioned once again, however there are plenty of players in the current test team who will get questioned more.
Bairstow has far from been a regular performer for England, but his display in Sydney so far has reminded everyone of what he can do when his side is up against it.
His performance with the bat has been deserving enough to win any test match and, even if he finds himself on the losing side, it will be an innings that will live long in the memory for Bairstow ahead of a busy year of cricket for England.