Jonny Bairstow’s timely 89 at Mohali rescued England somewhat on Day of the Mohali Test, following a careless batting by their top order. The Yorkshire wicketkeeper-batsman came to the crease when England were tottering at 51 for 3 — following the loss of Joe Root and Alastair Cook in quick successions.
Batting at number five, the in-form Bairstow, who has already score more than 1,300 runs in Test cricket this season, took his team to a respectable position. Though he could not last till stumps, but it was primarily because of his contribution, England crossed the 200-run mark and avoided a ‘disastrous day’.
“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,” he said after the end of day’s play at Mohali on Saturday.
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.”
Meanwhile, Bairstow missed out on a well-deserved ton, after being dismissed for 89 by Jayant Yadav, adjudged leg-before and by his own admission, it hurt him the most.
“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.”
He also felt, the wickets which India got late in the day has hurt England’s chances. But Bairstow also believes, his team has all the potentials to bounce back hard.
“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,” he said, before adding, “We’re fighting; we’re in the battle. It’s been a bit of a scrappy day. But we’ve dealt with worse in the past.”
Meanwhile, prior to this Mohali Test match, England skipper Alastair Cook said that Bairstow had a “glint in his eyes” when he was told that he would be batting at No 5.
“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 laughed and said when he was asked to comment on that.
Talking about his excellent run with bat in hand in this season, the Yorkshireman expressed his pleasure to be able to contribute for the team’s cause that too in different conditions.
“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.
“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,” the England keeper mentioned.
Originally published at cricwizz.com