Former England captain Nasser Hussain said England’s top-order should take a leaf from the partnership between Jonny Bairstow and debutant Jamie Overton to bail their side out from another massive collapse.
New Zealand rode on the brilliance of Daryl Mitchell’s 109, his third century in the series, to post 329 in the first innings. The tourists were boosted by the return of Neil Wagner to the bowling unit.
A quite superb counter-attack from Jonny Bairstow and Jamie Overton: Nasser Hussain
After Boult dismantled the top-order and Tim Southee dismissed Joe Root, Wagner made a stellar comeback with the wickets of Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes in the space of four deliveries in his first over itself. England were teetering at 55 for six at that point before Bairstow and Overton resurrected the sinking ship through their domineering 209-run stand for the seventh wicket.
The Yorkshire batter scored 130 in 126 balls, he brought up his 10th Test ton in 95 balls, while Overton showed his all-round abilities as he remained unbeaten on 89.
“That was a quite superb counter-attack from Jonny Bairstow and Jamie Overton. It was an excellent example of the kind of thing Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes want from this Test team. It’s not all about blazing away when the odds are against you. It’s about working out when is the right time to attack,” Hussain wrote in his column for Daily Mail.
“Bairstow and Overton, who showed real nous on his Test debut, timed it to perfection. And it may be the kind of performance the top order can learn from, because you have to get that balance right,” he added.
There’s no one way of batting in Test cricket: Nasser Hussain
Bairstow scored the second-fastest Test hundred by an England batter – 77 balls – in the second Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. He obliterated the New Zealand bowling attack to help England chase 299 in just 50 overs on Day 5. The 32-year-old replicated his power-hitting spree in Leeds to escape embarrassment for England.
“What the second day’s play confirmed for me was there’s no one way of batting in Test cricket – which is what differentiates the format from the white-ball versions of the game. When Bairstow went berserk at Trent Bridge, he’d given himself a platform before tea. You adapt to what’s in front of you,” Hussain mentioned.
England are 65 runs behind New Zealand’s first-innings total and Overton is likely to score his maiden hundred on debut on Day 4.