Former England captain Michael Vaughan has hailed Jonny Bairstow’s rich vein of form in Test cricket, saying that the middle-order batter is going through a hot streak of form which batters experience only once or twice in their cricketing careers.
Bairstow has been a standout batter for England’s new, attacking approach to playing Test cricket under captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, seen from him being adjudged ‘Player of the Match’ for his knocks of 106 and 114 not out in England’s seven-wicket win over India at Edgbaston, which helped them square the five-match Test series 2-2 and retain the Pataudi Trophy.
He also shared an unbeaten 269-run stand with Joe Root (142) for England to successfully chase down 378, their highest chase in Test cricket. Bairstow is the leading run-scorer in Test cricket this year, making 994 runs in eight matches at an average of 76.46, including six centuries and a fifty. He will be next seen in action with the ODIs against India next week after being given a rest from the T20I series starting from Thursday.
“Jonny Bairstow is currently going through the type of hot streak that batters only go through once or twice in their career when they feel almost invincible. I experienced it in 2002-03 when things seemed totally clear and runs were easy to come by. I scored a lot of runs in the summer against India and then continued that form into the Ashes in Australia. But I’m not sure mine was anywhere near as strong as what Jonny is going through at the moment,” wrote Vaughan in his column for The Daily Telegraph on Thursday.
Vaughan pointed out that such has been Bairstow’s striking form that he has even overshadowed Joe Root, the former captain who himself has been in great Test form. “How well Jonny is playing is shown by the fact that there is someone at the other end, Joe Root, scoring almost as many runs but barely getting mentioned. He is overshadowing the greatest England batter that I’ve ever seen.”
Vaughan further remarked having Stokes and McCullum as people at the helm in England’s Test setup haven’t made the chases of 277, 299, 296 and 378 looks tough. “I don’t actually think they have made the chases look that risky. They have played with determination and aggression, but also great skill. Look at how Root and Bairstow ran India ragged on Monday evening at Edgbaston.”
“What this England team has achieved in the space of four Tests is something I have never seen before. Apart from the Stokes-Leach Headingley Ashes win in 2019, which was incredible, I don’t think I’ve heard people talk about Test cricket this much for many years. They have got the public talking about cricket, and wanting to go and watch them play. It’s remarkable.”