Happy Birthday Jonny Bairstow: 5 Ridiculously-Awesome Knocks Played by The England Wicket-Keeper Batsman
England wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow celebrates his 30th birthday on Thursday. Born on September 26, 1989, the right-handed batsman is a vital cog in England team across formats. Bairstow has proved his mettle in all the versions of the game and also played a crucial role in guiding England to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 title. After the exit of Matt Prior, the wicket-keeper donned English gloves in the longest format and delivered consistently. However, in the limited-overs, Jos Buttler emerged as a formidable force both in front and behind the stumps which meant there was no room for another wicket-keeper batsman.
In spite of that, the England team management pulled a "Rohit Sharma" with Bairstow and made him an opener. Bairstow grabbed the opportunity with both hands and emerged as a ruthless opening batsman. Since then, Bairstow has dismantled many bowling line ups and became the team's batting mainstay. The 30-year old made his debut on September 2011 and has become a veteran of the game. To date, Bairstow has featured in 69 Tests, 73 ODIs and 30 T20Is, in which he has amassed 4020, 2861 and 513 runs respectively. Meanwhile, on the occasion of Bairstow's 30th birthday, let's look at five splendid innings by the England stalwart.
141* Against West Indies in Southampton
In the fifth and final ODI of West Indies' 2017 Tour of England, Bairstow played and hassled the Caribbean bowlers. Chasing a decent total of 289 in the second innings, Bairstow along with Jason Roy took charge from the first ball and piled up a massive partnership. Bairstow went on to score a splendid century and guided the hosts to a comfortable nine-wicket victory.
139 Against Australia in Nottingham
The third ODI of Australia's 2018 tour of England might still be haunting the Men in Yellow. Batting first, Bairstow and Roy gave the hosts an impeccable start. Roy fell for 82 while Bairstow continued his carnage and toiled the Australian bowlers. Bairstow brought up a magnificent ton as England piled up a gigantic score of 481 in the first innings, which is the highest team total in ODI history. The visitors never found themselves near the chase and lost the match by 242 runs.
111 Against India in Birmingham
The right-handed batsman played an impeccable innings and ended India's unbeaten run in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Bairstow batted fearlessly against the likes of Japrit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami to put England in the driver's seat. The opener scored 111 and guided the hosts to a match-winning total of 337 runs in the first innings. Bairstow's effort proved to be fruitful as England won the match by 31 runs.
150* Against South Africa in Capetown
The second Test of England's 2016 Tour of South Africa might be remembered for Ben Stokes' flabbergasting double century but the wicket-keeper also played an innings of authority. The fall of fifth England wicket proved to be the last laugh for the Proteas as since then it was a one-way show. Bairstow complimented Stokes very well and dismantled the hosts. In the process, the right-handed batsman also brought up his maiden Test ton. England put up 629 in the first innings. However, South Africa bounced back with the bat and the encounter resulted in a draw.
167* Against Sri Lanka in London
Jonny Bairstow was at his premium best when Sri Lanka toured England in 2016. In the third Tests, Bairstow proved his mettle once again and played an astonishing innings. Coming to bat after a top-order collapsed, the wicketkeeper-batsman displayed great resilience and brought the hosts back into the game. Bairstow went on to score 167 runs, his highest in Tests to date. England posted a satisfactory total of 416 in the first innings. However, the match later ended in a draw.
Bairstow’s statistics in international cricket might be astonishing but the 30-year-old’s recent form hasn’t been great and he faced the axe from England’s Test squad against New Zealand. However, the right-handed batsman will feature in the limited-over games and will aim to prove his mettle again.