At Trent Bridge earlier in the week, Jonny Bairstow played one of the most memorable Test innings in one of the most memorable Test matches as England created history by chasing down the target of 299 in exactly 50 overs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series with one game to go.
England were 53/3 when Bairstow arrived to bat and went down to 93/4 before Bairstow and Stokes turned the chase on its head with a stunning partnership of 179 runs in just 20.1 overs.
Bairstow had come out in the mood: he was 43 from 48 balls at one point, before teeing off spectacularly, walloping 10 fours and 7 sixes in his next 44 balls to effectively kill off the game by the time he was dismissed
The right-hander clattered 136 from 92 balls, bringing up his century in 77 balls – the second-fastest Test hundred by an Englishman. Bairstow. Ben Stokes (75* off 70) stayed to see off the chase and send the Trent Bridge crowd into delirium.
Jonny Bairstow shuts down IPL detractors
Going into the final session of the game, England needed 160 runs from 38 overs. Bairstow and Stokes hammered 120 runs in the 9 overs after Tea to virtually pocket the game.
Bairstow was clear in stating that his learning of batting under pressure in the IPL came to the fore in his belligerent knock. He also slammed those critics who had questioned him playing in the IPL over domestic red-ball cricket before the Test series.
“There was a lot of people that were saying I should not be at the IPL and I should be playing county cricket. That’s part and parcel of the game. Decisions are decisions and if I could say what I wanted to then… But there’s also elements to it where you are playing against the best in the world at the IPL. So being able to have those gears, to be able to go and switch them up, switch them down is important,” Bairstow was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
The 32-year-old highlighted the stifling scheduling of all-format England players plus those who feature in the IPL, adding that revelling in extreme pressure in IPL matches, against the best players in the world, has grown him as a cricketer.
“Yes, people say it would be fantastic if you had four games of red-ball cricket under your belt. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen in the current scheduling of everything around the world. And we’re very fortunate to be able to play in some of the best competitions against the best players in the world. So when it comes to pressure situations, the more and more you’re able to put yourself under those pressure situations, the better,” Bairstow asserted.
The third Test will kick start on June 23 at Headingley, Leeds.