Veteran England batter Jonny Bairstow said that England are trying to play the longer format in a style that is “different to the norm” and has named it “a simple game that we complicate” after smashing a 95-ball hundred. However, he came in the middle with England 17 for 3 in the seventh over and then did exceptionally well.
“‘Fancy doing another Trent Bridge?’ was the first thing that we said,” Jonny Bairstow told Sky Sports. “That was it: ‘OK, let’s crack on’. Sometimes it’s a simple game that we complicate. That’s all we’re trying to do: strip that complicated nature of it back, allow people to go out and express themselves in a way that will bring the best out of them as individuals and also as personalities. There is sometimes a lot of rubbish spoken about a lot of different things. Sometimes it gets into your mind and clutters it; sometimes you have to just flick it. You have to listen to the people that matter to you and right now I am doing that. The most important thing is me being me. Literally all Brendon [McCullum] has said is ‘go and impose yourself on the game’. It’s an exciting game and the way I’ve always played my cricket. I’ve gone back to young Jonny, where you’re just watching the ball and seeing the ball.”
Meanwhile, Brendon McCullum, who has instilled an ultra-attacking philosophy among all since his appointment as England’s Test coach, has helped the side. He said the change in attitude under McCullum and Stokes is “massive” as well.
“Literally, there wasn’t anything said. just ‘good luck and enjoy’. Or is that the way that people are so used to it happening? I don’t know. I’m asking you the question. Is that the way that we’re so used to it happening? Or is it just ‘we trust you guys to go and play the way in which you see fit’? It’s a buy-in from everyone, from the head coach right down to the guys making their debuts and coming into the squad. Whether you’ve played 170 Tests like Jimmy [Anderson] or making your debut like Jamie Overton, everybody’s buying into a certain way that we believe we’re capable of doing – but also a way of Test cricket that is different to potentially the norm. It’s a case of putting pressure back on other people. If you sit there, sit there, sit there, there’s a good ball in there for you. Rather than being a sitting duck and saying ‘look, alright, you can bowl at me’ it’s ‘OK, you can’t bowl at me, so let’s go’,” Jonny Bairstow said.
Jonny Bairstow smashed the sixth and seventh deliveries he faced for boundaries, both off Trent Boult, and said that he had felt as though he needed to “transfer the momentum” after England’s poor start.
“There’s different ways of looking at it. You can either go into your shell and bat the way people have done for years and years and years – try to survive against bowlers like Trent Boult and Tim Southee when they’re bowling so well. But you need to transfer the momentum, take them off their lengths. They were hitting their straps, conditions were in their favour. We’re only a few games into it but we’re definitely looking at it in a different way, going out and expressing ourselves, taking the game forward and hopefully playing in ways that can change games. You need people to stand up and change games. That’s how you win games of cricket, whether it’s a bowler taking five, six or seven-for or batters scoring hundreds,” Jonny Bairstow concluded.