Of course, Bairstow is proving to be England’s savior. Looking at his recent form, some relief can be given. Had it not been for his stupendous 106 – his third century in so many Tests – England’s chances would have already been bleak. And it was a reflective as well as a comforting moment as Bairstow came on the third day after the stumps to face the media.
When asked about some tough times, he said, “There is no point in going to the old ground: defeats, dismissals, frequent changes in order, it was all part of the game.
“It’s been an eventful journey, an enjoyable journey, with heartbreak at times. But it’s all character‑building. Over the last couple of years everyone’s been through it. Covid isolation, bubbles, being away from family. But hopefully we’re through the worst part, putting smiles back on faces and bums on seats.”
Naturally – it was Bairstow’s press conference itself. After all – that’s where a flurry of questions set in, and some of them were tough questions that Jonny Bairstow didn’t quite answer. When asked about his technical improvements, he said, “I don’t know, I’ve never been a technically competent player. That’s why lot of you torn me to shreds. Leg-side of the ball, off-side of the ball, through the gates. I’ve just stripped it back and tried to concentrate on watching the ball.”
Bairstow also highlighted the challenge facing India’s new-ball pair of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, who were able to bowl almost unchanged in the first 30 overs of the innings due to a rain delay. One incident Bairstow was eager to play down was his conversation with Virat Kohli in a tense morning session. “No, literally nothing to it,” he said.
“Two very competitive guys doing what they love on the field, 11 guys who are very passionate about their country. It was a great craic there. I hope it clears it up.”