Jonny Bairstow: England centurion’s praise for ‘grinding’ midfield order to spark West Indies recovery | Cricket News

Bairstow’s magnificent 109 not out helped England recover from 48-4 to close 268-6 at the end of day one of the first Test against West Indies; the Yorkshireman put in vital half-century positions with Ben Stokes, Ben Foakes and Chris Woakes too

Last update: 22/03/08 23:48

England’s Jonny Bairstow celebrates after his century against the West Indies

Jonny Bairstow hailed England’s courage in the middle order as they recovered from 48-4 to close 268-6 at the end of day one of the first Test against West Indies.

The Tourists lost four wickets before lunch after opting to beat first in Antigua, but Bairstow anchored the recovery with their eighth Test century, finishing the day unbeaten on 109.

The 32-year-old played a big part in the half-century partnerships of Ben Stokes (36), Ben Foakes (42) and Chris Woakes (24 not out) and was delighted to see them thwart a bowling attack of the West Indies who had got stuck in the higher order of England.

“Starting the series like this is something you obviously want to do, so really excited to score a hundred against them in the West Indies in the first test match,” Bairstow said. Sky Sports News.

“It’s part and parcel of the game that you can get into tough places and it’s about staying out there as long as you can and grinding. We’re coming back tomorrow and grinding again.

“I’ve played quite a few test matches now so I’m delighted to start the year this way and hopefully we can start again.”

Kemar Roach proved the scourge of England batsmen early on with two wickets, while Jayden Seales and former captain Jason Holder also picked up two apiece, despite working hard the afternoon sessions and evening, and could not make a breakthrough in the final stages. after taking the second new ball as soon as it became available after the 80th.

The top-notch collapse brought back memories of the Ashes’ sad England tour over the winter, prompting what has been dubbed a Test squad reset, but Bairstow dismissed any similarities and said insisted that there were no such concerns in the locker room.

“It’s completely different – completely different surfaces, completely different attack, completely different ball,” Bairstow said.

“It was always going to be sticky to see the pitch yesterday and the day before, there were obviously concerns that it was going to break quite heavily and there was obviously some moisture in that wicket this morning.”

Atherton: England will be happy, but top order is fragile

sky sports Cricket expert Mike Atherton was full of praise for Bairstow after he came to the fore with his second century in as many Tests. He scored 113 against Australia in Sydney in the final Ashes Series game of the winter and an unbeaten 106 in the warm-up game for that game against the WICB XI.

“I think England will be happy at the end, given where they were at 48-4,” Atherton said. Sky Sports News. “The top command fell apart and things seemed very tricky for them at this point.

“But as the day went on, first Bairstow and Stokes then Bairstow and Foakes, and at the center of it all was Jonny Bairstow. I thought the pace of his innings was great and he needed to work hard in the early stages, but he gradually accelerated through the day and played wonderfully.

“I think what he’s doing right now is just taking the opportunity. He was kicked out of the ashes to start for Ollie Pope, came back for the Melbourne test probably thinking ‘this is the last lucky now”.

Joe Root watches after being played by West Indies' Kemar Roach

Joe Root watches after being played by West Indies’ Kemar Roach

“When you’ve played around 80 Tests you probably won’t have much more of a chance. He got his century in Sydney and played very well there, got his 100 in the warm-up here and continued in this vein today.”

Former England captain Atherton believes current skipper Joe Root made the right batting call first after winning the coin toss, even though the tourist lost those early wickets, but has expressed concerns over the fragility of the higher order.

“That’s what we’ve seen in England over the last two years – the first order is fragile,” said Atherton. “Maybe it was a bit sticky at first and there was a bit of movement in the air, but England are vulnerable.

“They’re shaky; they’ve got an opener in Zak Crawley who’s promising, but if you take that 267 away, he doesn’t have much else and another guy, Alex Lees, making his debut.

“Root is playing in a new position at No 3 and Dan Lawrence is also fairly new to test cricket. Once you get Root early, which is what West Indies did today, you fancy your chances with the first order.”

Sky Sports

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