NOTTINGHAM: England legend Alastair Cook has compared teammate Jonny Bairstow’s blitzkrieg in the Second Test that saw the 32-year-old plunder 136 runs off 92 balls, to West Indies legend Brian Lara’s cricket on ‘cheat mode’.
Bairstow came at time when England had suffered a top-order collapse, with Zak Crawley (0) and both first-innings centurions, Ollie Pope (18) and Joe Root (3), back in the dressing room. But Bairstow changed the complexion of the game with his seven maximums and 14 boundaries, hit at a strike rate of nearly 148.
Thanks to his and skipper Ben Stokes’ unbeaten 75 England won by five wickets at Trent Bridge and took a 2-0 lead in the three-Test series. Bairstow timed his innings to perfection in the chase of 299, reaching his first fifty off 51 balls before going berserk and consuming just 26 more deliveries to reach three figures.
Bairstow has thus scored the second-fastest Test century for England off just 77 balls, leaving him just behind Gilbert Jessop. Jessop reached his hundred off 76 balls as England chased down 263 to earn a consolation victory in the 1902 Ashes series, said a report in mirror.co.uk
Speaking on commentary for BBC Test Match Special, Cook said, “I’m probably the least qualified to comment on what’s just happened in the last hour.
“So I’m going to sum it up in one sentence. What Jonny Bairstow has just played is like playing Brian Lara’s Cricket on cheat mode,” added Cook.