England batter Jonny Bairstow has no idea when he will be able to return after breaking his leg in three places and suffering a dislocated ankle in a freak incident.

Bairstow was ruled out of the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia following an accident during a round of golf last month.

The 33-year-old, who has been outstanding for his country this year, slipped at the side of a green and has undergone surgery in London.

Bairstow on Monday revealed it is far too early to say when he will be back on the field.

He posted on Instagram along with some horrific pictures of the damage done to his left leg: "I am just writing this to give you all an update on my injury and progress.

"The actual injury was as such... a broken fibula in 3 places which required a plate, I dislocated my ankle which in turn meant I did my syndesmosis joint and lateral ligament along with a couple more bits. All in all I have done a proper job on it!

"Anyway... on the positive side the operation went well and I am now 3 weeks post surgery and my staples have been removed. It's now all about swelling prevention and getting my ankle moving once again. These next few weeks/couple of months are the key to the recovery.

"As for a timescale on return to play I'm afraid it is too early to say, the first targets in mind are getting me back on my 2 feet again and making sure it's right.

"One thing is for sure and that is I shall not be partaking in anything more during 2022... however I cannot wait for what 2023 holds!!"

Ben Stokes has maintained that he and Alex Hales share the objective "to win the World Cup" after the Nottinghamshire batter was recalled to the England squad ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Hales has not played for England in three years since being taken out of the squad for the ODI World Cup in 2019 for failing a recreational drug test, and was not named in the initial squad for the upcoming T20 edition.

But a freak injury to Jonny Bairstow while playing golf last week has led to Hales being recalled for the tournament, as well as the squad for the T20 tour of Pakistan, which starts later this month.

Stokes' relationship with Hales is said to have declined after both were involved in a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017

But England Test captain Stokes acknowledged the quality Hales brings to the team.

"Alex is definitely one of the best T20 players in the world and unfortunately with what happened with Jonny we had to call another player up," Stokes told reporters.

"Alex is definitely one of the guys that bowlers don’t want to be bowling at in the T20 format."

However, Stokes was quiet when asked about their current relationship, adding: "My goal, Alex’s goal and everyone else’s goal who is part of that squad is to win the World Cup."

England will be without Jonny Bairstow for the Twenty20 World Cup after the batsman suffered a freak injury while playing golf.

Bairstow has been in stunning form for England in 2022 and was named in their T20 World Cup squad on Friday.

Yet he will now miss the series-deciding Test against South Africa and the tournament in Australia after sustaining what the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) described as a "lower limb injury".

England's statement confirmed Bairstow had suffered the injury while playing golf in Leeds on Friday, in what they labelled "a freak accident".

Bairstow will see a specialist next week but was immediately ruled out of action for the foreseeable future. 

Ben Duckett has been called up in his place for the Test match against South Africa, while England will name a replacement in their World Cup squad in due course.

Bairstow has been England's standout performer this year, scoring 1,344 runs across all formats, hitting five Test centuries in the process.

Ben Stokes promised England would not back down from their attacking approach against South Africa after rival captain Dean Elgar questioned the team's 'Bazball' tactics.

New England skipper Stokes has enjoyed four consecutive victories in the long format since taking over leadership duties from Joe Root, with three coming against New Zealand and one against India.

Now three Tests against South Africa await, with the first beginning at Lord's on Wednesday before further assignments at Old Trafford and The Oval.

Proteas skipper Elgar told Wisden Cricket Monthly he did not see "longevity in brave cricket", suggesting England could easily have been left "with egg on their faces" against New Zealand.

"Look, the opposition seem to be doing a lot of the talking about it at the moment," Stokes said on Tuesday.

"We don't really speak about it that much, we just concentrate on what we do. We've got a style of play, they've got a style of play, and at the end of the day it's bat against ball and whoever plays best over a Test match is more than likely to win."

England's approach has been nicknamed 'Bazball' because the lusty hitting of Jonny Bairstow has been so integral to the success. For each win in the current run, England have pulled off impressive fourth-innings chases, going almost gung-ho at times. Stokes and new head coach Brendon McCullum have encouraged the positivity.

Stokes hopes the England team "hasn't lost its venom", given it has been six weeks since the last Test, with record wicket-taker James Anderson turning 40 in the meantime.

Asked for how long Anderson might play on, Stokes said: "He's still 20 in my eyes, so 60 maybe, who knows."

With a hint of mischief in his eyes, Stokes responded to a question of whether he might also play on in Tests until the age of 40 by saying: "I'd absolutely love to."

Anderson's long-time pace partner Stuart Broad is one shy of becoming the second bowler to take 100 Test wickets at Lord's, with Anderson's 116 leading the way.

Elgar was not inclined to return to the topic of 'Bazball', saying: "Mudslinging is a thing of the past for me, and we're not going to go back and forth any more about that."


England chase four in a row against South Africa

England have won each of their last three multi-game men's Test series against South Africa, so they will hope Stokes' strong start as leader continues over the coming weeks. Root made 190 and Moeen Ali took 10 wickets in the match when England crushed South Africa by 211 runs at Lord's in July 2017, ending a six-match winless run (D2, L4) in games against the Proteas at the London ground.

Elgar looks to pace to pummel England

South Africa are unbeaten in four series (W3, D1) since a 2-0 defeat to Pakistan in February last year, so they are not lacking in confidence. Elgar is prepared for moments of England dominance and says South Africa can ride that out.

He said: "I know somewhere they're going to have periods in the game where they're going to be on top of us, no doubt, and we're going to have to find a way to adapt to that situation. I'd like to think from a bowling point of view, our bowlers are big, tall, fast and strong. We want it hard, we want it really tough, and hopefully the results go our way."

Jonny Bairstow blasted his highest T20 International score and Moeen Ali struck a record-breaking half-century as England beat South Africa by 41 runs in the first match of the series.

Bairstow is in the form of his life and bludgeoned 90 off only 53 balls on Wednesday, while Moeen made the fastest T20I half-century by an England batter from just 16 deliveries.

The exploits of Bairstow and Moeen (50) enabled England to rack up 234-6 at the County Ground in Bristol, their second-highest total in the shortest format and the biggest they have posted at home.

Tristan Stubbs top scored with a sublime 72 off 28 balls in his first international innings and Reeza Hendricks made 57, but the tourists fell short on 193-8 in a run-fest.

Jos Buttler smashed 22 off only seven balls after losing yet another toss, but Lungi Ngidi (5-39) removed the skipper and fellow opener Jason Roy.

Dawid Malan (43) was looking in ominous touch before he nicked Andile Phehlukwayo behind, setting the stage for Bairstow and Moeen put on an astonishing show of power and timing.

From 112-3 after 12 overs, the left and right-hand combination wreaked havoc, putting on 106 for the fourth wicket in just under six overs, with Bairstow dropped twice as the Proteas suffered under the lights.

Moeen fell straight after bringing up a fastest T20I half-century and Bairstow finally departed in the last over from Ngidi, just missing out on hundred.

The in-form Reece Topley (2-29) dismissed Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw cheaply, but Hendricks and Stubbs made a game of it as they made hay on a great track.

Moeen had Hendricks caught by Sam Curran and Adil Rashid (2-21) struck twice before Stubbs took centre stage as the boundaries continued to flow, but he was one of Richard Gleeson's three late victims and Chris Jordan bowled superbly at the death in a hugely impressive win for England.

 

Bairstow and Moeen go berserk 

The powerful Bairstow struck eight sixes and Moeen cleared the rope six times, with Phehlukwayo (1-63) conceding 33 runs from an astonishing 17th over and Tabraiz Shamsi going for 49 in three wicket-less overs.

Rossouw and Hendricks dropped Bairstow, who was finally removed in an excellent last over from the Ngidi, but the damage had already been done.

Stubbs stakes his claim

The 21-year-old Stubbs had batted in his only two previous internationals against India, but he staked a claim to be a regular fixture in the side with the T20 World Cup on the horizon.

He hit eight sixes to keep the Proteas in with an outside chance of chasing down a huge target, scoring at a rapid rate on both sides of the wicket before falling to Gleeson (3-51).

Jonny Bairstow has vowed to carry on playing for England in all three formats in international cricket – even if the workload has become too much for Test captain Ben Stokes.

Yorkshireman Bairstow won his 94th ODI cap for England in Friday's clash with South Africa at Old Trafford, and he has also played 87 Tests and 63 T20I matches.

Coming up for his 33rd birthday in September, Bairstow is eager to stay involved at the highest level "for as long as possible". Stokes quit the ODI team this week to focus on Tests and T20I commitments.

Bairstow feels the 50-over game remains an essential step for anyone keen to earn "a quick buck" in T20 leagues, and said the same applied for first-class cricket.

He told Sky Sports: "Naturally there are challenges, we've seen that over a period of time now.

"We only have to look at the Tests this summer where there was a one-day squad over in Holland at the same time. Even at the back end of this summer, there are the seven T20s in Pakistan that pretty much overlap with the last Test match [against South Africa].

"But you know me well enough to know that I will be trying to play all forms for as long as possible.

"I will be going all out for as long as I can. There might come a time that, for different reasons, you do have to make a decision but that's part of life and part and parcel of cricket.

"In the near future, I don't see myself making a choice. I love being part of all three squads."

Bairstow described ODIs as "a stepping stone into Test cricket", given the game is not typically as frenetic as the T20I format, with solid technique and patience required.

He is enjoying a stellar year at international level, albeit he had a disappointing spell with Punjab Kings in the lucrative IPL, scoring just 253 runs in 21 innings.

Players can earn big money from competing in such competitions, but Bairstow believes developing a solid game by playing longer-format cricket is imperative.

"There is the lure of playing in T20 leagues and making a quick buck, let's be honest about that," Bairstow said. "But, everything comes from your basic technique, which you learn in four-day cricket – and then you expand from that."

Jonny Bairstow has been recalled to England's T20I squad for the series against South Africa as Ben Stokes takes a rest, while Matthew Potts has landed a maiden ODI call-up.

Bairstow enjoyed run-laden Test outings against New Zealand and India but was rested for the three-match T20I series against Rohit Sharma's side, who defeated England 2-1.

The Yorkshire batter kept his spot in the ODI squad for the series against India, which is finely poised at 1-1 ahead of the decider at Old Trafford, and will now feature again in the shortest format against South Africa.

England Test captain Stokes is another in action against India, but he has been omitted from the T20I squad to face South Africa in an effort to manage his workload and will also miss domestic limited-overs competition The Hundred.

Adil Rashid is back in both white-ball squads after missing the India clashes due to undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, while Potts is part of England's 15-man 50-over squad for the first time.

Potts impressed with his bowling in the five-day outings against India and New Zealand, and he will join Durham team-mates Stokes and Brydon Carse for the ODI series, which starts at Chester-le-Street on Tuesday.

Reece Topley is another named in both squads after his 6-24 at Lord's on Thursday, taking England's record ODI bowling figures, and will hope to boost his hopes of featuring at the T20 World Cup in November.

Buttler's ODI side will head to Old Trafford and Headingley to conclude their three-match tussle against the Proteas, before the T20I series starts in Bristol on July 27.

Richard Gleeson is again included in the squad for the shortest format, having dismissed India trio Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant on his debut at Edgbaston.

Harry Brook is another who will look to stake his claim to take Eoin Morgan's spot in the T20I side's middle order, with the three-match T20I series heading to Cardiff on July 28 before concluding at the Ageas Bowl three days later.


England ODI squad: Buttler, Moeen Ali, Bairstow, Carse, Curran, Livingstone, Overton, Potts, Rashid, Root, Roy, Salt, Stokes, Topley, Willey.

England T20I squad: Buttler, Moeen Ali, Bairstow, Brook, Curran, Gleeson, Jordan, Livingstone, Malan, Rashid, Roy, Salt, Topley, Willey.

Ben Stokes has taken Test cricket by storm with his attacking approach to captaining England, but the all-rounder must value his wicket more.

That is the message from former England batter Kevin Pietersen, who hailed the start Stokes has made as skipper, winning each of his first four Tests.

Stokes and Brendon McCullum have restored interest in the five-day game, with their aggressive intent in the longest format resulting in a series whitewash of New Zealand and victory over India.

In each of those victories, England have chased down scores of more than 275 runs and they saved their best until last with a seven-wicket win over India, completing their highest Test chase of 378 with ease.

Yorkshire duo Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root have been the standout performers for McCullum's side, and Pietersen believes the attitude of Stokes is refreshing for the England set-up and cricket in general.

"They're doing something incredible. The last few run chases, pretty much record-breaking. I have been watching it in astonishment," Pietersen said after playing the Old Course, St Andrews ahead of the 150th Open Championship.

"We were all astonished by Ben Stokes winning the toss and saying, 'we'll chase'. I mean, I'd never heard of that in my life. I was standing with Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain, and we were like, 'did he just say that?'

"No one's ever said that before and, fair play, if you're going to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. The wickets have been very good, so they've been able to do that.

"Can you do that in India on day three, day four of a Test match? I'm not so sure but I think these guys are good enough.

"And if they play with that freedom, of spirit and mind, they can achieve some cool things. I'm all in to watch how it goes."

Stokes has courted criticism for embodying England's approach too excessively after somewhat cheap dismissals against New Zealand and India, though, and Pietersen urged for caution from the captain.

"The only thing I do see and want to see is that he does value his wicket a little more than then what I saw in Birmingham, he's too good a player to slog it straight in the air," he added.

"He's too good a player to do that. Just have a look at how Bairstow played has played with freedom of spirit, freedom of mind.

"He accessed all areas of the ground and he puts so much pressure on the opposition. I just think Ben is better than that, and I'm sure he'll accept that, and he'll know that I just want to see him flourishing."

Bairstow has set the benchmark for 'Bazball', an endearing term for McCullum's attacking approach that the New Zealand legend is not too great a fan of.

The 32-year-old scored the second-fastest Test hundred for England at Trent Bridge before reaching three figures in three of his next four innings, the only exception being a rapid 71 not out at Headingley.

His unbeaten 114 against India marked his sixth century of 2022, which is the most by a player while batting at number five or lower in a calendar year and joint-most by an England batter in the same time period (level with Root), and Pietersen backed Bairstow to continue playing freely.

"There's no real pressure because he's not being frowned upon by the powers that be, he is being asked by the senior management to play that way," he continued.

"I think it's a privilege to be able to go out there and just express yourself. The balls up, just give it a smack and everybody says instead of smacking it that hard, I want you to smack it harder – awesome, no pressure."

Jonny Bairstow has been named as the ICC Player of the Month after run-laden Test outings against New Zealand and India.

The England batter appeared to be feeling the pressure after opening the Test against New Zealand with scores of one and 16 at Lord's, before managing just eight at Trent Bridge.

However, Bairstow delivered a knock for the ages in the second innings in Nottingham, scoring England's second-fastest Test century – from 77 balls – as the hosts chased 299 with ease.

The 32-year-old finished unbeaten on 136 before he plundered 162 in the following Test at Headingley, having come in at 21-4, and combined in a vital 209-run partnership with debutant Jamie Overton.

Bairstow continued to frustrate New Zealand in the second innings at Leeds, breezing to 71 not out, as England comfortably reached their target of 296 to complete a series whitewash of the Black Caps.

But more fireworks from Bairstow were to follow against India in the rescheduled final Test, with the Yorkshireman crafting 106 – his third century in four innings – to keep England in the first-innings contest.

India subsequently set England 378 to win and Brendon McCullum's side obliged to complete their highest successful chase in five-day cricket, Bairstow finishing unbeaten on 114 alongside Joe Root (142 not out).

That marked a sixth century of 2022 for Bairstow, which is the most by a player while batting at number five or lower in a calendar year and joint-most by an England batter in the same time period (level with Root).

Bairstow's efforts have been recognised by cricket's governing body and he will now eye further success in the upcoming three-Test series at home to South Africa before heading to Pakistan.

"I would like to thank the fans for voting for me as the ICC Men's Player of the Month," he said.

"It has been an incredible five weeks for England. It has been a positive start to our summer with four excellent wins against high-class opposition in New Zealand and India.

"We are enjoying our cricket as a team and playing with clarity and positivity. Even though I have scored four centuries in this period, I would like to acknowledge my team-mates who have been excellent in every department and are playing with immense confidence."

Ben Stokes believes no other Test side can match England's bravery after the hosts completed a record 378-run chase to beat India in a remarkable Test match at Edgbaston.

Despite being reduced to 109-3 at one point on day four, England recovered to better their terrific exploits during the recent series whitewash of world Test champions New Zealand.

The hosts surpassed their previous best chase (362-9) against Australia in 2019, sealing the victory on Tuesday.

That means England have secured three of the 10 highest chases in their history in their last three Test matches, with the Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum regime having reinvigorated the country's red-ball side.

Speaking to BBC Sport after the win - which saw the delayed series drawn at 2-2 - skipper Stokes declared that while other sides may match England for talent, none could replicate their courage.

"It is amazing," he said after a fourth straight Test match win. 

"The change, you're talking about mindset and everything like that - when you've got real clarity in what you want to achieve as a team and how you want to play, it makes things a lot easier. 

"We know what we were going to do - we knew we were always going to go out and try and chase that down from the get-go. 

"A great way to explain is that teams are perhaps better than us, but teams won't be braver than us." 

Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow both brought up centuries to get England over the line in speedy fashion on day five, with the latter becoming the first batsman to score six or more centuries in a single calendar year in Tests when batting at five or below.

And Stokes heaped praise on the Yorkshire-born duo for their stunning performances, comparing Bairstow's recent displays to his limited overs showings.

"As people from Yorkshire say, 'strong Yorkshire, strong England'. It couldn't be more true right now. These two are just phenomenal," Stokes added.

"Rooty has been doing it for 10 years and Jonny has just honestly been ridiculous over the last five or six weeks. 

"He has got runs but it is the way that he has done it - it's exactly what we talk about. He has embraced it and just gone out and there and done it. It is like watching him play white-ball cricket at the moment."

Having also become just the third England player to hit a century in both innings of a Test against India (after Graham Gooch and Andrew Strauss), Bairstow explained the players were simply enjoying an exhilarating brand of cricket.

"It is awesome, it is a great environment at the moment," Bairstow said. "It is fantastic, the way we're playing, and everyone is really enjoying the success and that is a huge part of it.

"If Joe and I are out there doing it together, we're in a really good place. We've been doing it for a long time together now.

"It is really special to knock off 378 with just three down. It is something that we'll never forget. After day two I got asked, 'what do you think is too many', and I said 'whatever they set we'll go for'.

"That's exactly what we did. The opening partnership deserves a huge amount of credit, for the way they went about it and the brand of cricket that we're trying to play, it was epitomised by that opening stand. 

"It isn't going to work every time, but the pressure and intensity which they put on world-class bowling takes a huge amount of guts, courage and skill."

Joe Root hailed England's "incredible" display with the bat after he and Jonny Bairstow starred in a historic 378-run chase against India, declaring: "Whatever they get, we'll chase it."

Having resumed at 259-3 before a lively Edgbaston crowd on Tuesday, England raced to their most impressive victory yet under the Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum regime, with Root and Bairstow hitting centuries to complete the highest run chase in the hosts' history and claim a 2-2 draw in the delayed series.

The victory saw England surpass their 359-run chase against Australia in August 2019, as Root made his 28th Test ton in finishing 142 not out.

He and Bairstow registered the highest fourth-wicket partnership in the fourth innings of a men's Test (269), as well as England's fifth-highest fourth-wicket stand in any innings.

Bairstow, meanwhile, also became just the ninth player to hit four Test centuries in England in a calendar year as the home side's entertainers continued their red-ball revival.

England also recorded three successive chases of over 250 runs in their series whitewash of world champions New Zealand last time out, and Root says the team's fearlessness with the bat left them feeling in control throughout day five.

"It was pretty fun doing it. Throughout the whole summer, from that first game, we've said, 'whatever they get, we'll chase it'," Root told Sky Sports. "Ben said to us before the toss: 'We're not going to bat first, we're going to chase.'

"That's the mentality of how we're going about things at the minute. Once we got that partnership going, we just felt in full control.

"So much credit has to go to the two lads at the top [Alex Lees and Zak Crawley], the way they set the platform, the way they shifted the pressure straight back onto India.

"To smash that new ball around on a wicket that was doing a bit was just incredible batting. It really made the work that we had to do afterwards a lot easier. It really was a sublime partnership against a world-class attack.

"The feeling in the dressing room at the moment is 'whatever you get, we're going for it, and we're going to take it down'."

On a personal level, Root added he was enjoying his cricket again after stepping down as captain in April, saying successor Stokes has instilled a newfound ruthlessness in the side.

"When you're enjoying things it makes it a lot easier, you turn up to practice excited, you get out in the middle, and you're up for the contest," Root added.

"I feel in a really good place and I just need to make sure I maintain that. One thing that's worked for me is just accepting it's a game of failure, batting, and you're not going to get it right every time.

"It was good fun, like I said, there was a little bit on offer, but when you're putting pressure on bowlers it's very difficult for them to keep coming hard at you.

"We recognised crucial parts of pressure, I think we soaked it up well at times in the second innings, and then when we got our chances to put it back on them, we did it.

"We were ruthless with it, something that we might have lacked a bit in recent times – especially under my leadership!"

Centuries from Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow carried England to a historic seven-wicket win over India, completing their record-breaking 378-run chase in the first session of day five.

After successful fourth-innings pursuits of 277, 299 and 296 in the whitewash of New Zealand, England required their highest such recovery in Tests to take this rearranged fifth match against India.

But Root (142 not out) and Bairstow (114 no) had done much of the heavy lifting late on Monday at Edgbaston, allowing the home side's imperious duo to charge through Tuesday morning and improve their unbeaten partnership to an outstanding 269.

The successful chase meant England claimed a draw from the delayed 2021 series and won a fourth consecutive Test match since the new Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum regime took charge of the team.

A night's sleep appeared to have done little to rejuvenate India, who continued the previous evening's themes of rash bowling, poor field placement and regular appeals for a change of ball.

One of those early appeals was successful, but England bludgeoned on regardless, even aided by four leg byes in consecutive Mohammed Shami overs.

A flurry of Root fours brought up his hundred, reaching three figures with a stab at a Mohammed Siraj delivery that skipped over second slip to the boundary.

Root initially maintained control of the strike and the scoring, making Bairstow wait until the 18th over of the day for his century. A single did the job, with Root making his ground in time before a direct hit to celebrate with his team-mate.

And another single, this time from Root, concluded a chase that ultimately became a saunter, cementing England's ability to seemingly match any target with the bat in this thrilling new era.

Bairstow matches Root record – with time for both to break it

'Bazball' has been the making of Bairstow, who now has four centuries in his past five innings – the other an unbeaten 71. That means half of Bairstow's 12 Test hundreds have come in 2022 alone.

That ties the record for the most England Test tons in a calendar year, with Root having matched the six-century achievements of Denis Compton and Michael Vaughan just last year.

With three Tests to come against South Africa next month and more against Pakistan later in the year, Bairstow is well placed to move past six – as is Root, who has five this year.

India recovered from Jonny Bairstow clinching yet another century to finish an eventful third day of the fourth Test against England with a healthy 257-run lead.

Bairstow led a fine England counter in a thrilling morning session, bringing up his third century in as many Tests as the hosts looked to make up for a poor start to their first innings.

But after Bairstow's team-mates toiled in being bowled out for 284, India recovered from the early loss of Shubman Gill to reach 125-3 by close of play, leaving the hosts with it all to do on day four. 

The hosts enjoyed some good fortune upon resuming, with skipper Ben Stokes (25-36) being dropped in inexplicable fashion by Jasprit Bumrah before gifting the visiting captain a catch with an identical shot off the very next ball.

As has often been the case since Brendon McCullum took charge, England were left to rely on the brilliant Bairstow, who dragged them into contention by bringing up his century – the 11th of his Test career - off 119 balls shortly after lunch.

But their momentum dissipated when Mohammed Shami had him caught for 106 off 140 to reduce England to 241-7, before Mohammed Siraj dismissed Stuart Broad (1-5) in the very next over and finished the innings 4-66 after accounting for Sam Billings (36-57) and Matthew Potts (19-18).

Needing a fast start to have any hope of teeing up another successful chase, England were boosted when James Anderson had Gill (4-3) caught at slip, his fourth Test dismissal of the India opener.

Broad and Stokes then claimed a wicket apiece as Hanuma Vihari (11-44) and the out-of-form Virat Kohli (20-44) were felled, before Cheteshwar Pujara bought up a slow half-century off 139 balls. 

He and Rishabh Pant (30 not out) were then content to see the day out in quiet fashion, with England now requiring wickets to fall quickly on Monday.

Brilliant Bairstow drags England into contention

The pressure was on when England resumed on Sunday, and Bairstow – so often the key man in the early days of McCullum's red-ball revolution, stepped up after a bout of sledging from Kohli.

In recording his first century against India in Test cricket, Bairstow went from 13 off 61 balls to 100 off 119, going up through the gears in rapid fashion when England needed him most.

Siraj halts hosts' progress

With England having recovered from 84-5 to 241-7 by Bairstow's dismissal, India could have been forgiven for thinking back to the way McCullum's men conducted three successful chases of over 250 against New Zealand in their recent series whitewash.

But Siraj stepped up to claim a four-wicket haul as India held off their hosts, leaving England requiring something special to level the series at 2-2.

England might need another act of Jonny Bairstow heroism to dig them out of a deep hole at Edgbaston after India made the home side suffer on a rain-hit second day of the fifth Test.

In a wild morning session, India went from 338-7 to 416 all out, Ravindra Jadeja completing a century by moving from 83 to 104 before being bowled by James Anderson.

India scored a world-record 35 runs from one Stuart Broad over as captain Jasprit Bumrah took centre stage with the bat. Bumrah is better known for his work with the ball, and the skipper then reduced England to 44-3 when he sent back Alex Lees, Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope.

After a two-hour rain break, the third such interruption of the innings, England lost former skipper Joe Root for 31, and nightwatchman Jack Leach followed, with Bairstow (12 not out) and captain Ben Stokes (0 no) together at the close. England were 84-5 at stumps, nowhere near where they hoped to be in the contest.

India are 2-1 ahead in this series, one that began last year but had to be curtailed before the fifth Test got under way due to COVID-19 concerns in the tourists' ranks. This long-delayed match is therefore decisive, with England needing a victory to force a drawn series.

Rather than go after the win, avoiding a heavy defeat could become the priority, but at this stage the hosts will still believe they can salvage this situation, given positivity is flowing through the team after the recent 3-0 rout of New Zealand.

Broad had a rotten morning, entering the record books in unwanted fashion when Bumrah set about his bowling. The previous Test record of 28 runs from an over was obliterated, aided by Broad bowling a high wide that raced to the boundary before being clubbed for six off a no-ball.

Bumrah finished on 31 not out when Broad held a catch off James Anderson (5-60) to remove Mohammed Siraj in the next over.

Three rain delays affected England's reply, but the batting was not up to scratch. The most damaging dismissal was surely that of Root to a snorter of a delivery that climbed rapidly into the batsman, drawing a thin edge to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant. Now Bairstow, whose past three Test scores have been 136, 162 and 71 not out, will aim to lead a recovery effort alongside the skipper.


Anderson at it again

It still defies belief that England's previous regime looked ready to discard Anderson. He might turn 40 later this month, but few seamers in world cricket can rival his skill, and India again found him so difficult to play. A 32nd five-wicket haul of his Test career was his sixth against India.

England have done it before, so can they do it again?

England hardly need to look far back in the history books for inspiration. In the third Test against New Zealand, they were 55-6 in their first innings but rallied to post 360 all out. The seventh-wicket stand of 241 runs between Bairstow and Jamie Overton saved the day that time, and something special is required again here.

England concluded a series whitewash of New Zealand in fashion befitting the rest of the primitive Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum era.

The new captain-coach combo have inspired England to three relentlessly entertaining Test displays – and now three wins, after Joe Root (86 not out) and Jonny Bairstow (71 no) clinched a seven-wicket victory on day five at Headingley.

England chased down 277 in the first Test and 299 in the second, and the target of 296 in Leeds never looked beyond them as they resumed on 183-2.

Rain delayed the start of play until after lunch on Monday, and Stokes' side quickly lost Ollie Pope (82) to a beauty from Tim Southee, but Bairstow picked up where he left off in his previous two innings (136 at Trent Bridge, 162 at Headingley).

His partnership with Root passed 50 inside 39 balls – the two Yorkshiremen thrilling a home crowd – but Bairstow was scoring at a far faster rate than his former captain.

Soon enough, he reached the half-century himself from just 30 deliveries – the second-quickest 50 by an England Test batsman.

Having squandered two reviews on Sunday attempting to remove Root, Kane Williamson's third went when Bairstow was caught off his forearm, rather than his glove. The batter was never concerned and swiftly resumed his assault on the New Zealand attack.

Fittingly, Bairstow finished with a four and then a six, with victory over the world Test champions wrapped up a little over an hour after the belated start.

Blistering Bairstow only behind Botham

No England player has profited as much as Bairstow from the freedom afforded him by Stokes and McCullum, with each knock seemingly better than the last.

There was little pressure on this occasion, with plenty of time and wickets in hand, and Bairstow fell agonisingly short of a long-standing Ian Botham record – his 28-ball half-century against India in 1981 briefly within reaching distance when Bairstow sent his 27th ball over the rope to reach 46.

A dot ball and a single followed before Bairstow passed 50 with his sixth four, to go with two maximums, after just 42 minutes.

India up next after unprecedented success

England have only until Friday before their next Test against India, but there will be few complaints, with the team quickly finding their rhythm under new leadership and relishing every new challenge.

India might be tempted to put England in to bat, for no target looks beyond Stokes' men when behind; they are the first Test team to chase down 250 three times in a single series.

Page 1 of 4
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.