Jonny Bairstow scored his fourth Test hundred on day two of the third Test at WACA in Perth, and the cricketing fraternity is going gaga over the fantastic knock played by the English, wicket-keeper batsman. Scoring an Ashes hundred is a great achievement for any batsman from either of the two teams and scoring it on an away Ashes adds even more to the achievement. Bairstow partnered with Dawid Malan in the first innings to take England to a safe score of 403.
Bairstow has been the butt of the jokes since he put his foot on the Australian soil for head-butting Aussie opener Cameron Bancroft but he put all those jokes behind him and has been in the highlights for all the rights now. He has established himself as a specialist One Day player for England and is now on his way to do something similar in the Test format.
Just like all the other critics and pundits, former England batsman Robert Key has been all praises for the right handed batsman who was prompted up the order in the third Test. Key has been pushing Jos Buttler’s case as a wicket-keeper in the Test set up for a long time now and feels Bairstow should play as a batsman who will give the batting line up some solidarity. He said:
“For a while now, I’ve said Jonny Bairstow should bat at number four in this England side but I wouldn’t have him keeping.He reached just his fourth Test hundred on day two at the WACA but, with his ability, he should get up to around the 20 Test hundreds mark by the end of his career. He should finish as one of England’s best-ever players and can get up there with the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell.To me, he looks like he could be one of the best batsmen England have produced for a long time, along with Joe Root and Alastair Cook.”
“I know I keep pushing for Jos Buttler to come in and take the gloves but you could pick Ben Foakes, if you like, and have him bat at No 7. Then you’ve got Cook opening with Mark Stoneman, who is starting to look good. Root would bat at three and Bairstow at four. Then there’s Dawid Malan at five; Ben Stokes, when he’s back, at six; and then the wicketkeeper and Moeen Ali. That’s England’s best batting line-up. It’s a settled top order and one that could be around for a long time.”
Talking about Bairstow’s head-butting celebrations, Key said:
“Bairstow’s celebration after reaching his hundred was amusing and it put the “headbutt” incident firmly behind him.What’s really annoying as a player is the opposition saying they’ve got under your skin or when people say sledging has affected you.”
“The Aussies made a lot of how they got Bairstow out at Brisbane and said it was because they sledged him. I thought that was complete rubbish, to be honest, and Bairstow has shown that with his knock at the WACA. He’s also shown that when things like this happen it’s a lot easier to brush under the carpet when you score some runs and start playing well. To be honest, I don’t think the ECB handled the incident all that well. They made too much of it and that played into Australia’s hands. It was a storm in a teacup which has been put to bed now and I’m glad it’s over!”