Joe Root may be England’s premier batsman but the most prolific through the past year has been Jonny Bairstow with more than 1300 plus runs in the longest format.
Bairstow did not hide his happiness at having been successful with the willow but said that there is nothing special except for devising a method to score runs irrespective of whether it is against Australia, South Africa or India.
“I think scoring runs at any point throughout the year has been pleasing for me. Combining with my keeping, it has been a pleasing aspect for the two to be combined all the way throughout the year. I didn’t see it as a change, obviously batting at No 5, it was not a change in mentality for me going out there at number five rather than No 7.”
Talk about his amazing consistency, Bairstow remains modest.
“I can’t really put a finger on it to be honest with you. Obviously, comparing the conditions to South Africa at the start of the year to England, throughout the summer, to Bangladesh, to here — they were all very different. I think it is just finding a method. Finding a way and finding a mindset of scoring runs. Trying to stay out there for as long as possible and yeah I was really cheesed off (angry) to get out like that.”
Bairstow was dismissed for 89 by Jayant Yadav, adjudged leg-before.
“That hurt me pretty bad to get out like that, because I thought I played quite nicely all through the day, so desperately disappointed with myself to get out especially towards the end of the day because I thought we fought back really well.”
“So on a different evening, you finish six down instead of eight down, you look at that as the final two sessions and you go away pretty pleased with it to be quite honest with you because we scored 100 runs in the middle session and scored well again in the evening session.”
Skipper Alastair Cook said that Bairstow had a “glint in his eyes” when he was told that he would be batting at No 5. He laughed and replied: “I don’t really mind where I bat. It is quite pleasing to be batting at five, because I feel I am in good form. The confidence that captain showed in me to bat me at No 5, along with the coach and rest of the side, is really good and I would like to think that I repaid them today with the faith they put in me.”
Bairstow also reminded that while going to lunch at 92 for 4, it could have got disastrous.
“After winning the toss, it was disappointing to lose wickets. At the same time, it could have been a disastrous day as well. It could have been something like that if we didn’t knuckle down and work hard through the last phase of the morning session, the afternoon session and the evening session. We could have been bowling tonight.”
Bairstow reckoned the first day pitch was good to bat on.
“The pitch is probably going to be at its best today and tomorrow but we have also seen some uneven bounce as well with the wicket which probably heightened throughout the day. You can see from where the wicketkeeper and slip fielders were fielding in the first few overs in the day compared to where they were lately in the day.”