Sports, Cricket

Bairstow continues rich vein of form


By AFP
Published : 04 Jul 2022 08:51 PM

Jonny Bairstow completed his third hundred in successive Tests before falling for 106 at Edgbaston on Sunday to leave England's series-decider against India intriguingly poised.

Bairstow, 91 not out when rain forced an early lunch on the third day of the Covid-delayed fifth Test, went to three figures when a push off seamer Shardul Thakur was misfielded on the cover rope to give the Yorkshireman his 14th four in 119 balls. He also hit two sixes.

His exit left England 227-6 and they were eventually dismissed for 284 in reply to India'a first-innings 416, a deficit of 132 runs.

But that represented a major recovery after England had resumed on 84-5 in a match they have to win to end this five-match series level at 2-2.

The 32-year-old Bairstow's latest century followed scores of 136 at Trent Bridge and 162 at his Headingley home ground, where he also made an unbeaten 71 in the second innings, in England's recent 3-0 whitewash of Test world champions New Zealand.

In England's first series under their new leadership duo of Stokes and red-ball coach Brendon McCullum, the team had several times hit its way out of trouble.

But for all the talk of the new 'Bazball' approach, a reference to former New Zealand captain McCullum's nickname, Bairstow did still play himself in against India's impressive pace attack in a match England have to win to square this five-match series at 2-2.