On a day where the hosts were in trouble at 229/4, England skipper Joe Root ensured that there was no chaos in the home dressing room with an innings that can’t be defined by the superlatives. Since the start of 2021, Root’s form has been dazzling, with him bringing up his fifth century in the calendar year, an unbeaten 180 against India, which gave the hosts a 27-run lead. In awe of the English skipper, Jonny Bairstow stated that Root means a heck of a lot to the team and to English cricket.
“Heck of a lot (Joe Root means to the team) as he does do for English cricket. He’s in second place for the leading run-scorer for the country, he is very special to us. To score another 180* at Lord’s, I have run out of superlatives for him. It is just great to see him in that form and putting on partnerships with him, enjoying every single moment with him,” Bairstow stated in the online presser.
“It is amazing, Saturday at Lord’s when Joe and I walked out, we just wanted to enjoy ourselves and that’s what we did. We wanted to relish the opportunity and make the fullest use of it. It was really special to see the Lord’s buzzing, it was definitely back with the crowd.”
Bairstow also addressed the ebbs and flow of the game, stating that the conditions became tougher to bat on as the ball got old with a variable bounce off the pitch.
“The game today went through different periods, the ball got a little softer as the day picked and it became tough for us to score boundaries and runs. There was a great ebb and flow in the game, if you had said that we would get a 27-run lead at the end of the day, we all would have been happy with it.”
With a 27-run lead, England would walk on day four as the more confident of two sides, especially considering how the conditions have aided new-ball bowlers thus far. Bairstow reckoned that it would be a ‘tough’ challenge for India to get past the first few overs.
“We got a new ball in our hand, it will be a tough challenge for India early on. We would come out firing and pace in Woody, Jimmy and Rob. Hopefully, we would continue to challenge them at every juncture in the morning session.”
On a personal note, Bairstow walked into the series on the back of a string of poor performances against India, where he was often found out early on in the innings. However, with two steady performances, the Yorkshire batsman hopes to continue on with the consistency that he has shown during the series.
“It was pleasing, consistency is something you want, isn’t it? To get the 57 was pleasing, I would have loved to go on naturally but it was one of those things. The pitch started getting two-paced, flying to the keeper and one falling short of the keeper. It would get tricky as the game progresses.”