Jonny Bairstow : The hundred that worth a lot more
When Jonny Bairstow replaced Jason Roy in the ICC Champions Trophy semi-final against Pakistan, it looked like an short-term plan. Even though he made a solid 43 off 57 balls, with the backing of team management, Roy could have slotted in when he is among runs again.
Roy played well in the domestic One day Cup by scoring 92 off 81 balls in the Semi-final. Also, he had a good T20 series against South Africa. It was obvious that he would replace Bairstow for the ongoing series against West Indies. To everyone’s surprise, Bairstow replaced Roy at the top of the order.
Scores maiden hundred
Bairstow grabbed the opportunity with both hands and scored his maiden ton in the 1st ODI against the Jason Holder-led team. Chasing a target of 205 in a 42-overs-per-side game, he smashed a 97-ball 100 including 11 fours. More importantly, he remained unbeaten to guide his team home in 30.5 overs.
The Yorkshire batsman was always in and out of the team. He piled on runs in Tests and domestic for the past two years. What he got was odd opportunities here and there. He has amassed 232 runs at an average of 77.33 and a strike-rate of 93.92 in the last five ODIs that he has played.
He been trying his best when opportunities come his way. However, he never got a long run.
Deserves a long run
Look what it means to him! pic.twitter.com/OiQQNdIUCj
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 19, 2017
Now with this hundred, he made a statement that he deserves a long run. The ongoing Windies series might be the ideal platform for him to cement his spot. Familiarity with home conditions and a relatively weak Windies bowling attack will certainly boost his chances.
When we dig into history, there are a number of players who became highly successful after they began opening the batting. From Sachin Tendulkar to Rohit Sharma, the list consists of some greats of the game.
Will Bairstow captialise on his opportunities?