'That's how you win games of cricket' - Jonny Bairstow on his batting approach

shruti banerjee

| Jun 25, 7:31 PM

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Starstudded England batter Jonny Bairstow has said that England are trying to play the Test in a style that is 'different to the norm' and has referred to Test cricket as "a simple game that we complicate" after smashing a 95-ball 100 to rescue England from 55-6 at Headingley against New Zealand.

The 31-year-old came to bat with England 17-3 in the seventh over after a stunning new-ball start from the pace-spearhead Trent Boult. He had faced just one ball when the former captain Joe Root edged one off Tim Southee to leave the team reduced to 21-4. That brought in Ben Stokes, with whom Bairstow had added 34 runs. However, the duo did well in their last Test.

The Chelsea-born cricketer stated, "There is sometimes a lot of rubbish spoken about a lot of different things. Sometimes it gets into your mind and clutters it; sometimes you have to just flick it. You have to listen to the people that matter to you, and right now I am doing that. The most important thing is me being me. Literally, all Brendon [McCullum] has said is 'go and impose yourself on the game'. It's an exciting game and the way I've always played my cricket. I've gone back to young Jonny, where you're just watching the ball and seeing the ball."

Meanwhile, Brendon McCullum, who took the responsibility as the head coach of the Test team just ahead of the series, quickly instilled an ultra-attacking philosophy soon after joining the team. The Kiwi wicket-keeper batter also gave a team talk that Ben Foakes told ESPNcricinfo was like 'William Wallace' on the final day of the Trent Bridge Test, but Jonny Bairstow has a different say about this.

The swashbuckling batter, however, has opined on the change in attitude in them under Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes and termed it 'massive'.

The former SRH cricketer added, "It's a buy-in from everyone, from the head coach right down to the guys making their debuts and coming into the squad. Whether you've played 170 Tests like Jimmy [Anderson] or making your debut like Jamie Overton, everybody's buying into a certain way that we believe we're capable of doing."

"It's a case of putting pressure back on other people. If you sit there, sit there, sit there, there's a good ball in there for you. Rather than being a sitting duck and saying 'look, alright, you can bowl at me' it's 'OK, you can't bowl at me, so let's go."

However, Jonny Bairstow smashed the sixth and seventh balls he faced for boundaries, both off veteran speedster Trent Boult, and said that he felt to 'transfer the momentum' after England's horrifying start. He continued to attack even after Ben Stokes and Foakes’ dismissals, leaving England six wickets down early. But he added an unbroken 209 with Overton in 37.1 overs to help his side.

Bairstow said. "You can either 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, take them off their lengths. They were hitting their straps, conditions were in their favour.

You need people to stand up and change games. That's how you win games of cricket, whether it's a bowler taking five, six or seven-for or batters scoring hundreds," the Englishman concluded.

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