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Lucky to bat with Root, says Bairstow on crucial partnership in Edgbaston Test

By India Today Sports Desk: Jonny Bairstow said that players performing under pressure over the last 12 months is one of the major reasons behind England’s immense success in Test cricket. On Friday, June 16, Bairstow batted for the first time in Test cricket since August 2022 and showed that he is still a brute force with the bat.

The right-handed batter scored 78 runs off as many balls with the help of 12 fours before Nathan Lyon accounted for his wicket in the opening Ashes Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Bairstow was happy with the fact that England showed a lot of intent from the very first ball of the match where Zak Crawley hit Pat Cummins for a four through the covers.

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"Overall it's been a good day. The intent the guys showed, Zak's first shot of the day, in stark contrast to last time. The crowd's been on good form and we really enjoyed it. [First ball] I don't think that's a change over the last 12 months. If the ball's there to be hit, you hit it. The lads are out there with a smile on their faces, from the start of the day to the end, when Robbo slipped over.

“There's different pressures, when you're going in on the back of wins and with people in form, you have trust in each other. People doing their jobs and then you come together as a unit. That's what the last 12 months have been about,” Bairstow was quoted as saying after the end of the day’s play.

Need to create pressure: Jonny Bairstow

Bairstow came to bat at a stage when England were in a spot of bother, having lost half their side with their score at 176 in 38.4 overs. From there on, Joe Root and Bairstow put on 121 runs to put the hosts back on track.

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“Five down you're thinking a couple here and we could be in trouble. Been lucky enough to bat with Rooty for too long, and we've had some special times in the middle. We just had a bit of craic out there. Great fun being back out there, just got my hands and feet going again. Going to take a bit of time after my long lay off, but when you're in you give it your best shot,” he stated.

England, in the meantime, declared their innings at 393 for eight. Regarding the same, Bairstow said that the bowlers need to be patient and relentless in their approach going into Day 2 of the Test match.

“Be patient and relentless on a length. They are going to hit the middle of the bat [sometimes] but we need to create pressure. We'll turn up in the morning and they'll have to start again,” he said.

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The Open Magazine of India by Artmotion Network (https://magazine.armotion.com/)

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