By India Today Sports Desk: Former England captain Michael Atherton has said that Jonny Bairstow’s knock was an innings of real savagery. Bairstow remained unbeaten on 99 as England posted 592 runs on the board in their first innings against Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester.
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Speaking to Sky Sports, Atherton said it was an innings of real savagery from Bairstow, while calling him a remarkable cricketer. Bairstow scored 99 runs off 81 balls, smashing 10 fours and four sixes on Day 3.
“It was an innings of real savagery, wasn’t it? When he (Jonny Bairstow) was left stranded on 99 by Jimmy Anderson, he was on the point of making England’s fourth fastest Test match hundred. He really climbed into Australia’s bowlers when he had the tail for company. He is a remarkable cricketer,” said Atherton.
Bairstow missed his hundred only because he ran out of batting partners. In the 107th over, with Bairstow standing at the non-striker end unbeaten at 99, Cameron Green bowled a length ball to James Anderson at the striker end. The ball struck Anderson’s pads, and the appeal for an LBW was upheld by the umpire.
Bairstow’s innings was a masterclass in aggressive batting. He slammed four sixes and helped England post a mammoth total of 592 all out in their first innings, the highest Ashes innings total on home soil since 1985. This gave the hosts a commanding first innings lead of 275 runs, leaving Australia reeling and under immense pressure.
His knock put England in a dominant position in the match and set the stage for a potential series-leveling win. At the end of Day 3, Australia trail England by 162 runs having lost four wickets for 113 runs in their second innings.
England will have to avoid defeat to stay alive in the 2023 Ashes series. As of now, Australia lead the five-match series 2-1, having won at Edgbaston and Lord’s, prior to their three-wicket loss at Headingley.