Jonny Bairstow, who smashed a scintillating century in the Test Bridge Test, continued the same momentum in the ongoing third and final Test of the series against New Zealand in Leeds. The right-handed batter helped England recover after hitting another crucial hundred to lead England’s fightback.

From being 6 down for just 55 to going 264 without losing another wicket, the hosts produced an extraordinary recovery, thanks to Bairstow, who was well supported by debutant Jamie Overton. The duo formed an unbeaten 209 runs stand for the seventh wicket to stage a brilliant comeback.

Bairstow, who remained unbeaten on 130 at stumps, shared thoughts on his dazzling ton, stating he backed his natural game to come good. The Yorkshire batter said sometimes different opinions clutter your mind, but one has to pay attention to those who matter, and that’s what he is doing now.

“This is the way that I’ve always been capable of playing. 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,” said Bairstow in the presser after the end of the day’s play.

Bairstow also gave insights to the think-tank of the English side under the fresh leadership of captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum. The 32-year-old said they are trying to keep it simple, which eventually helps everyone, especially in pressure situations.

“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’s 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,” Bairstow added.


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