Gone back to being young Jonny: Bairstow relishes purple patch after Headingly Test hundred vs New Zealand


England batter Jonny Baristow said it was special for him to score a Test hundred in front of his home crowd in Headingley, saying it’s an emotional feeling to do well for England with friends and family watching on from the stands. Bairstow hit 130 not out in just 125 balls on Day 2 of the 3rd Test against New Zealand on Friday, June 24.

Jonny Bairstow, who hit the 2nd fastest hundred by an England batter in England’s series-clinching win over New Zealand at Trent Bridge earlier this month, continued his rich vein of form in red-ball cricket, hitting as many as 21 boundaries in a counter-attacking knock.

Bairstow and Jamie Overton, the fast bowler on Test debut, came together at 55-6 in reply to New Zealand’s first innings total of 329. The pair lashed out in a record unbeaten stand of 209 runs to lead their side to 264-6 by stumps.

Bairstow and Overton hit 33 boundaries between them as the duo scored at a staggering run rate of 5.6 per over in England’s highest seventh-wicket stand to peg back New Zealand and put the Test back on edge. England headed to Stumps on Day 2, trailing New Zealand by only 65 runs.

“Yeah it feels amazing, you know how much this place means to me. Being a Yorkshire lad scoring a Test hundred at home is pretty special and all my family and mates are here as well,” Bairstow told Sky Sports.

“Every time that you score a Test hundred it is emotional.

“You know what I am like, it means so much to play for England in Test cricket and that is the kind of guy I am.

“The way I am striking the ball I couldn’t be more pleased with but I think it is also the more relaxed me at the crease, I am not necessarily as tense or whatever it is.

“I have gone back to young Jonny when you are just watching and seeing the ball.”

Bairstow has had a new lease of life under new captain Ben Stokes and new head coach Brendon McCullum as the senior batter has played a key role in England taking an unbeatable 2-0 lead against the world champions in the ongoing series.

WHAT MCCULLUM HAS TOLD BAIRSTOW

Shedding light on McCullum’s inputs, Bairstow said the former New Zealand captain has kept it simple with his tactical guidance in the dressing room.

“There is sometimes a lot of rubbish that is spoken about a lot of different things and sometimes it gets into your mind and clutters it and then sometimes you have to just flick it.

“You have to listen to the people that matter to you more than the rest of the guys and that is the most important bit about it is me being me.

“The way Brendon has been, he just said you have to impose yourself on the game, that is literally all he said. It is an exciting way and it is the way I have always played my cricket and sometimes to the detriment of myself,” Bairstow added.

Bairstow and Overton will look to wipe off New Zealand’s lead and put England in a position of strength when they resume batting on Saturday as the hosts eye a 3-0 sweep of the series.



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