ENG vs NZ, 3rd Test, Day 2: Jonny Bairstow smashes a ton to turn the tides in England’s favor

An unbeaten 130-run knock from Jonny Bairstow saved England from the troubles

ENG vs NZ, 3rd Test, Day 2: England ended the day’s play on 264/6 with a lead of 65 runs in the ongoing third Headingley Test in Leeds, courtesy to Jonny Bairstow for his marvelous century.

England bounced back from a scary position of 55/6 to eventually get stable at 264/6 by the end of the day’s play in the ongoing third Test at Headingley in Leeds. 

Jonny Bairstow (130*) and Jamie Overton (89*) build a solid 209 runs stand on Friday to turn things in England’s favor. 

Trent Boult from New Zealand took three wickets while Neil Wagner picked up two wickets. 

Earlier, New Zealand started the day at 225/5 but failed to keep going. Daryll Mitchell departed on 109 off Jack Leach, and his partner Tom Blundell (55) got undone by Matty Potts. 

Jack Leach completed his fifer and returned with the figures of 5/100 while Stuart Broad picked up three wickets for 62 runs.

However, after the play, Bairstow revealed that was trying to play his natural game without getting distracted by the situation.

“This is the way that I’ve always been capable of playing,”

he said in the presser after the day’s play. 

“I guess it’s your personality coming out. It’s just a more relaxed me at the crease, I’m not necessarily as tense.

“I’ve gone back to young Jonny, where I’m watching the ball and seeing the ball. There is sometimes a lot of rubbish spoken about a lot of different things, sometimes it gets into your mind and clutters it. I have to listen to the people that matter to me and right now I am doing that. The most important thing is me being me,”

he added.

Despite losing Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes, Bairstow up the ante with his aggressive route followed by drives, cuts, slog-sweeps, dabs, and pulls – he explored every corner of the ground to take things back to his side.

Bairstow noted the think-tank under Stokes and Brendon McCullum is trying to keep it simple. 

“Sometimes it’s a simple game that we complicate. We’re trying to strip that complicated nature of it back, and allow people to go out and express themselves.

“There are different ways of looking at it. You can either go into your shell and bat the way people have done for years and years – try to survive against bowlers like Boult and Tim Southee when they’re bowling so well. But you need to transfer the momentum,”

he said.

So what were the instructions given to the duo at tea break when England was tottering at 91 for 6? Bairstow replied:

“Good luck, enjoy.’ That was literally all that was said.”

Bairstow’s words perhaps encapsulate England’s new mantra of keeping it simple.

England XI: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (capt), Ben Foakes (wkt), Jamie Overton, Matthew Potts, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad