BUMBLE AT THE TEST: Jonny Bairstow proves the doubters wrong with another special century as an exhilarating contest shows there’s still plenty of appetite for Test cricket… but we need consistency with the technology for it to be a fair game
- Jonny Bairstow was given the backing of Ben Stokes and how he has responded
- But England’s early tactics were wrong as Stuart Broad should have opened up
- The hosts’ top order were blown away by the high-class bowling of Trent Boult
- Tom Blundell was quite unlucky to be given out lbw while DRS was not working
Jonny Bairstow achieved consecutive centuries for the first time in his Test career as he once again spearheaded England’s fightback against New Zealand in another staggering batting display.
After Daryl Mitchell’s third century of the series helped New Zealand to 329 all out just after lunch, the hosts collapsed as they began the chase at Headingley, with Trent Boult clinically bowling out Alex Lees, Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope.
Bairstow began his partnership with debutant Jamie Overton at 55 for 6, but the pair produced a thrilling display and plundered 209 runs from just 223 balls to close on 264 for six.
Here, Sportsmail‘s DAVID LLOYD picks out his talking points from the second day’s action in Leeds.
Jonny Bairstow and Jamie Overton formed a thrilling partnership on day two at Headingley
Jonny proves the doubters wrong
There were plenty of whispers about Jonny Bairstow’s place when he made two low scores at Lord’s. Should Harry Brook replace him? Not a bit of it.
Jonny was given the backing of Ben Stokes and how he has responded with that hundred at Trent Bridge and now a very special one at his home ground.
Gung-ho cricket seems reckless at 55 for six but it’s wonderful at 264 for six. This was thrilling. This was exhilarating. It was remarkable.
Bairstow has silenced those who called for him to be dropped after two low scores at Lord’s
Broad should have started the day
England got their tactics wrong on Friday morning. A flat pitch with no grass would normally justify Jamie Overton banging it in short but you have to look up at Headingley and there was cloud cover.
That meant Stuart Broad should have opened up with the ball a few overs old and pitched it up looking for swing. As soon as he came on he found the edge….
England got their tactics wrong on Friday morning as Stuart Broad should have opened up
A Boult from the blue
New Zealand got it right. England’s top order were blown away not by their ultra-positive approach but by vintage Headingley bowling.
The New Zealand attack is experienced and high-class with the variation of a left-armer in Trent Boult and did what you have to do here – pitch the ball up! England were not up to it defensively. They were found wanting…
England’s top order were blown away by the high-class bowling of the experienced Trent Boult
There’s still plenty of appetite for Test cricket
We have a new format! And it’s even shorter than the Hundred! The Sixty has been launched in the Caribbean and promises all the fun of the fair.
I’m sure more of these will pop up and players will go where the money is. But the game should beware. Test cricket remains a test of skill, stamina and mental fortitude.
And when it’s played like it was at Headingley on Friday, who needs shortened, artificial entertainment? This was the real deal…
We need consistency with the technology
I can’t help thinking Tom Blundell was unlucky to be given out lbw while DRS was not working.
The same thing happened for a spell on day one and I think, if the technology is going to go on the blink, it should be binned completely for the Test. It’s not fair to have it working for some but not for others.
What happens, for instance, if replays later showed Blundell wasn’t out? Should he be allowed to come back?
Tom Blundell was given out lbw and was unable to review because DRS was not working
Yorkshire’s coffee doesn’t match its tea
Yorkshire is noted for many great things. Cricket, beer, horse racing, tea, cheese, relish and holiday destinations like Scarbados and Ponte Carlo among them.
But one thing they do not do is coffee. I went to three establishments around the ground paying top dollar and I have to say each cup I bought was rank.
You have to up your coffee game, Yorkshire, because at the moment you’re lagging behind the south. Send for a barista!
Don’t go overboard on the Western Terrace
All eyes on the Western Terrace where it became lively again after tea. We’ve had reports of drunken behaviour at some Blast games this season and there were plenty of folk here tut tutting about ribald behaviour.
The Hollies Stand at Edgbaston is the same. I must confess the mischief in me thinks it’s all a bit of a hoot but there will always be the odd incident that causes upset. Try to keep it fun, guys and gals….
The crowd on the Western Terrace at Headingley enjoyed themselves on day two of the Test
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