‘I’ve run out of superlatives,’ says Jonny Bairstow after Joe Root’s heroics

  • ‘To see him in the form he’s in, it’s awesome,’ says Bairstow
  • Batsman warns rest of Test will be ‘challenging’ despite lead

As Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root emerged from the pavilion on Saturday morning to a warm and sunny reception from a capacity Lord’s crowd, they took a moment to count their blessings. “Joe and I said to each other: ‘How good is to be walking out on a Saturday at Lord’s with your best mate?’” Bairstow recalled at stumps on day three. “To have a full crowd, with our family and friends here, was really special. The Lord’s buzz was definitely back.”

England’s buzz was back too, for now at least. They began the day with a mountain to climb but ended it with a slender lead of 27 thanks in large part to Bairstow’s 57 and Root’s gargantuan unbeaten 180 – the England captain’s fifth century in seven months, and one that took him past Graham Gooch into second place in the all-time list of England Test run-scorers. Only Alastair Cook now stands in his way.

“I’ve run out of superlatives, to be honest,” Bairstow said of his Yorkshire teammate. “To see him in the form that he is, playing the way he is, it’s awesome. Having batted with each over many years, you get a gauge of each other’s temperament. You bounce off one another, and we enjoyed every single moment. It’s been about having fun, enjoying the challenge, playing with a smile. We’ve scored nearly 400 today, and you can see the way in which we’re going about it, smiling and laughing, keeping that relaxed but focused attitude.”

Bairstow’s strong form on his return to the Test side has been one of the more cheering elements of the series, even if he was disappointed to succumb to India’s short‑ball trap two overs before the second new ball, gloving a pull to slip. “The game today went through a few different periods,” he said. “This morning the ball was a bit higher, and then the rate slowed as the ball got softer, and it was more difficult to rotate the strike and score boundaries.

“I’d have liked to have gone on, but it was one of those things. The pitch is slightly two‑paced, a few flying through to the keeper and a few that were dying. When you’re trying to duck and weave, it can get tricky. It caught the glove today; on another day it might go over the slip cordon, or you might get a bottom edge for one. But if they’re going short, then that means you’re doing something right with your defence.”

For all England’s dominance on days two and three, pegging India back from 267 for two late on day one, the game remains tantalisingly poised going into Sunday, and tellingly Bairstow was not yet prepared to install England as favourites. “Let’s see how tomorrow goes,” he said. “We’ve got a new ball, and it was tough and challenging when they got their second new ball, so we’ll come in tomorrow firing. We’ve got guys who can challenge them in every way possible. It’s going to be a really challenging day.”


Jonathan Liew at Lord's

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Jonny Bairstow says England ‘must show more fight’ in second Test
England’s Stuart Broad put in a battling performance against India in the second Test despite struggling with two different injuries

Ali Martin in Visakhapatnam

19, Nov, 2016 @3:39 PM

Article image
Root thanks players after becoming England’s most successful Test captain
Joe Root has gone past Michael Vaughan with his 27th Test win making him England’s most successful captain

Tanya Aldred at Emirates Headingley

28, Aug, 2021 @4:36 PM

Article image
Jonny Bairstow shows defiance but India dominate England on day one
Jonny Bairstow made a dogged 89 but it was India’s bowlers who had the upper hand on the opening day of the third Test, restricting England to 268 for eight at the close in Mohali

Vic Marks in Mohali

26, Nov, 2016 @11:02 AM

Article image
Jonny Bairstow should make England return to ease burden on Joe Root | Ebony Rainford-Brent
England are too reliant on Joe Root so I would bring in Jonny Bairstow at No 3 for the third Test against India

Ebony Rainford-Brent

21, Feb, 2021 @8:00 AM

Article image
Joe Root urges England to grasp opportunity of unlikely win
Captain Joe Root hopes his hard-fought century has put England in a position to snatch an unlikely win over India in the first Test

Emma John at Trent Bridge

07, Aug, 2021 @8:35 PM

Article image
Joe Root forgets England’s toils and refinds secret to batting immortality | Jonathan Liew
The put-upon captain might have faded away in his fifth year in the job but instead he has played some of his greatest innings

Jonathan Liew at Lord’s

14, Aug, 2021 @8:08 PM

Article image
Masterful Joe Root hauls England back into contention with India
An unbeaten 180 from captain Joe Root gave England a 27-run lead over India at the end of the third day of the second Test at Lord’s

Ali Martin at Lord’s

14, Aug, 2021 @6:37 PM

Article image
James Vince set for England recall as cover for Jonny Bairstow
James Vince could return to England’s plans for the fourth Test on his home ground in Southampton next week following the 203-run defeat by India at Trent Bridge

Ali Martin at Trent Bridge

22, Aug, 2018 @4:28 PM

Article image
Jonny Bairstow stands out for inclusion in England's one-day team for India | Vic Marks
Vic Marks: Jonny Bairstow stands out as a future prospect for England after stunning innings in Cardiff

Vic Marks

17, Sep, 2011 @9:59 PM

Article image
England’s Jonny Bairstow keeps his hair on after Michael Vaughan spat
Jonny Bairstow is playing it cool after his superb form led England to the semi-finals after a close shave with World Cup exit

Chris Stocks

06, Jul, 2019 @6:49 PM