By India Today Sports Desk: Former England batter Mark Butcher said the fire was burning bright during his sensational knock of 99 not out on Day 3 of the 4th Ashes Test in Manchester against Australia, saying that emotional wicketkeeper-batter always found ways to bounce back stronger from setbacks.
Mark Butcher highlighted that Jonny Bairstow was not in the best of forms and under pressure as well after that run-out controversy in the 2nd Test in Lord’s but that the wicketkeeper proved a point with a potentially game-changing knock in Manchester.
Ashes 4th Test, Day 3 Updates
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 stood helplessly at the bowling end as the replays confirmed that the ball would have gone to hit the leg stump.
“Jonny has been bubbling over ever since the stumping incident at Lord’s. He has not been keeping well, not been scoring runs. He is emotional and that makes him incredibly dangerous,” Mark Butcher told Sky Sports.
“Every time he is backed into a corner he comes out and does that. He has given his team time to try and force a victory.”
TAKING CONFIDENCE FROM CATCH
Bairstow’s journey to this point in the series has been fraught with challenges. His batting form had been under scrutiny, and his wicketkeeping skills were also called into question. The controversy surrounding his run-out in the second Test at Lord’s only added fuel to the fire. Bairstow, assuming that the over had finished, stepped out of his crease but was run out by Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey. This incident sparked a debate about sportsmanship and left Bairstow under even more pressure.
Meanwhile, India batter Dinesh Karthik highlighted that Jonny Bairstow had a point to prove after having had his place in the side questioned. The wicketkeeper, who has managed to keep out Ben Foakes, had scored just 141 runs in 6 innings before the Manchester masterclass.
“At the start of this Test match I said Jonny had a point to prove with his wicketkeeping. He took a brilliant catch and used that confidence in his batting. He played some [brilliant] shots,” Karthik told Sky Sports.
Bairstow’s blitz after Zak Crawley’s 189 on Day 2 helped England push their total to 592 as the hosts sealed a 275-run first-innings lead to give them a good chance to level the Ashes series at 2-2.