England batter Jonny Bairstow said it is an emotional moment for him to score Test hundreds after the England number five notched up back-to-back centuries against New Zealand on Friday at Headingley in Leeds.
Bairstow in alliance with debutant Jamie Overton bailed England out from faltering in what could be another episode of their batting collapse on the second day of the third Test. The domineering Bairstow was unbeaten on 130 from 126 balls, his innings was laced with 21 boundaries.
It means so much for me to play Test cricket for England: Jonny Bairstow
After scoring the second-fastest Test hundred by an England batter in the second Test at Trent Bridge, Bairstow took 95 balls to bring up his 10th Test ton.
“Being a Yorkshire lad, scoring a Test hundred at home is pretty special. My family and my mates are here as well,” Bairstow said after the second day’s play.
“Every time you score a Test hundred it’s emotional. People know what I’m like – it means so much for me to play Test cricket for England and that’s the kind of guy I am. I wear my heart on my sleeve, which isn’t always everyone’s cup of tea,” he added.
We’re going out and expressing ourselves: Jonny Bairstow
Bairstow clubbed seven boundaries in the final hour against New Zealand’s lead bowling pair of Trent Boult and Tim Southee, picking up from where he left from Nottingham. The 32-year-old explained his strategy to counter-attack Boult and Southee after the New Zealand bowlers, who were boosted by the return of Neil Wagner to their side, ran through England’s batting order to reduce his side to 55 for six at one stage.
“There are different ways of looking at it. You can go into your shell and bat the way people have done for years and years and years – try to survive against bowlers like Trent Boult and Tim Southee when they’re bowling so well – but you need to transfer the momentum. You need to take them off their lengths,” Bairstow said.
“We’re going out and expressing ourselves, taking the game forward and hopefully playing in ways that can change games.
“That’s how you win games of cricket. Whether it’s a bowler taking five, six or seven wickets, or batters scoring hundreds – that’s what you need people to stand up with. We are looking to impose ourselves at the crease and put pressure back on to the bowlers which is in some ways a very different way of looking at it,” he added.
England are trailing by 65 runs to the tourists’ first innings score of 329 with Bairstow and Overton (89*) batting at the crease with their undefeated 209-run stand for the seventh wicket.