England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow has broken into the top-10 of the Test batsmen rankings twice in his career and currently sits at number seven. He is currently England’s second highest ranked batsman and believes that the top rank is not out of his sight. After having successful 12 months, the England cricketer says that the number one rank is feasible.
“Seven is, apparently, now where I also find myself in the ICC world batting rankings, which I’m delighted about,” Bairstow wrote in a column for the Daily Mail. “Is No.1 feasible? Why not! It’s not something you think about but my aim has always been to work hard to become the best I can possibly be as a batsman and keeper, and if that pushes me even higher in the rankings then I’ll take that.”
England’s top ranked batsman is captain Joe Root who is at number two spot, 50 points behind Steve Smith. The Australian captain is the number one ranked batsman in the world.
Bairstow was ranked ninth after England’s tour of India which ended in December last year and he bettered it to number seven after his strong perfomance against South Africa in the recently concluded Test series at home.
In the past 12 months, Bairstow average close to 50 and has scored more than 1000 runs but the Yorkshire batsman said he should not get carried away by his performances.
“I’m delighted with my form with bat and gloves,” he wrote. “It’s just a question of quietly carrying on and not making too big a deal of it when things are going well – but I must confess I was devastated to get out for 99 at Old Trafford. It was like that time at Lord’s against South Africa in 2012 when I fell in the 90s. An extra run shouldn’t really matter that much. It doesn’t mean you have not played well. I’m certainly happier to make 99 than nine or 19, but we all know in cricket that extra run does matter.”
Bairstow will be an important player if England want to retain the Ashes against Australia when the two teams meet for the five-match Test series later this year Down Under.
He also wrote about the catch he took in the dressing room balcony off a Moeen Ali six. He explained that it may have hit someone had he not taken it.
“I pretty much had to take that extra ‘catch’ on the balcony when Moeen Ali hit one towards us during his fabulous second-innings knock,” he wrote. “Everyone else was scarpering back inside. It was just a natural reaction to go and catch the ball to be honest. “On a serious note, if it had ricocheted around the balcony it could have hit someone in the face. It’s my job to catch the ball so I just went for it. A good job I caught it, mind, because it would probably have gone viral if a ’keeper had dropped it.”
Beginning next Thursday, England face West Indies for a Test series at home with the first Test being a day-night affair, the first in England.
“We are going to have an extra day’s practice with the pink ball ahead of Edgbaston, which will be good because I didn’t get a chance to bat with one in our day-night county match for Yorkshire earlier this season,” Bairstow explained. “West Indies have come in under the radar to an extent while we’ve been playing South Africa, but we will have a good think about them in the coming days.”