Jonny Bairstow is no stranger to eye-catching, frankly murderous knocks at Trent Bridge.
In 2018, England’s all-format batter smashed 139 from 92 balls as England amassed 481, the highest ODI score of all time, and condemned Australia to a 242-run defeat.
Four years later (five days short of it being to the exact day), Bairstow faced the same number of balls, in a Test match, and pulverised 136 to help his side to a five-wicket win over New Zealand, chasing 299 in 50 overs.
After England secured the series win against the Blackcaps by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead, the 32-year-old credited England’s shift of mindset – led by a new captain and coach pairing – for the match-winning knock.
“I’m hugely proud of the way I went about it, proud of the fact that on day five we’ve come together and won a Test match for England,” Bairstow beamed.
“There have been some tough times over the past few years, we’ve all been there, so to entertain a full house on day five at Trent Bridge and play the cricket we’ve played is a huge testament to the bravery of those guys in the dressing room.
“There was no thought about drawing that game; we were going out to win. There wasn’t a negative thought in the dressing room, everyone has got complete backing from Ben [Stokes] in terms of how they want to go about their individual games.”
Bairstow has been under the watchful eye of seven coaches in all formats for England, including Nottinghamshire’s Peter Moores in 2014/15, and admitted that all have developed his game.
Brendon McCullum’s recent appointment has offered the Yorkshireman further scope for progress, with a positive approach suiting Bairstow’s mindset.
“It has only been a couple of weeks,” he said, “and that is going to develop and evolve over a period of time so I think everyone is still learning that part but there isn’t a challenge which is too much, there isn’t anything we can’t do.
“I’m fortunate enough to have played under a lot of different captains and coaches over a period of time in the last ten years for England and each coach has brought different good bits out of me.
“Brendon just says to go and change the game and take the game forward. There are going to be times when it doesn’t come off, that is part and parcel of it. The way in which I have always gone about my cricket has been to try and be positive.
“There are periods of time when you look at things and you are able to change the game, and that is something that I pride myself on.”
And Bairstow also praised the Trent Bridge atmosphere for the energy and momentum created.
Nottinghamshire permitted free entry to the fifth day, and a feverish crowd watched one of the great days of Test cricket unfold.
“It was fantastic to have such a full house on day five, it was full of buzz, it was full of everything that you want in Test cricket. It’s so fresh, it’s great,” he concluded.
“There has been 500 scored in two innings, 300 chased down in the last innings, if that isn’t an advert for Test cricket, I don’t know what is.”
As England turn their attention to the third and final Test, the dust may yet take some time to settle on a wondrous game in Nottinghamshire, in which New Zealand played a full part.
But red or white ball, if England’s – and Bairstow’s – recent Trent Bridge record is anything to go by, the national side is set for an almighty ride.
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