By India Today Sports Desk: Jonny Bairstow missed out on his 3rd century in an Ashes Test by a whisker as he remained unbeaten on 99 on Day 3 of the 4th Ashes Test against Australia in Manchester. Bairstow stitched a 66-run partnership for the 10th wicket with tail-ender James Anderson as England pushed their total to 592 and sealed a 275-run first-innings lead.
Jonny Bairstow ran out of partners as Englan were bowled out in the 108th over bowled by Cameron Green. Bairstow was going great guns as was hitting sixes at will after getting to his fifty.
Ashes 4th Test Day 3 Updates
Bairstow was batting on 98 at the start of the 108th over. He tried to take a double in the 3rd delivery of the over but he and Anderson were not able to complete the second run. Green then trapped James Anderson LBW for 5 in the 4th delivery of the over.
Jonny Bairstow may have missed a hundred but he pushed England’s lead to a daunting 275. The wicketkeeper batter hit 10 sixes and 4 boundaries as he was unbeaten on 99 from just 81 balls, missing an opportunity to hit the 2nd fastest Ashes hundred by an England batter.
ENGLAND BATTERS STRANDED ON 99 IN TESTS
Geoffrey Boycott – 99 not out vs Australia in Perth in 1979
Alex Tudor – 99 not out vs New Zealand in Birmingham in 1999
Jonny Bairstow – 99 not out vs Australia in Manchester in 2023
Bairstow has been a subject of intense scrutiny in the ongoing Ashes series. His performance in the first three Tests of Ashes 2023 was far from satisfactory, with an average of just 23.50 across six innings. However, on Day 3 of the 4th Ashes Test in Manchester, Bairstow silenced his critics with an aggressive knock that reminded everyone of his true potential.
Bairstow’s last century came against India in a rescheduled Test in 2022. Since then, his form with the bat had been inconsistent, leading to questions about his place in the side. The first three Tests of Ashes 2023 saw him averaging only 27.20 in five innings, a performance that left fans and experts disappointed. However, Bairstow’s resilience and determination were evident as he stepped onto the pitch in Manchester.
The 4th Ashes Test marked a turning point for Bairstow. His aggressive batting style was on full display as he took on the Australian bowlers with confidence and precision. Each stroke was a testament to his skill and experience, and his performance served as a reminder of why he is considered an asset to the English side.
Despite his previous poor performances, Bairstow received unwavering support from head coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes. McCullum, in particular, defended Bairstow’s performance in the first Ashes Test, emphasizing his critical role as a batter and his potential as a weapon at No. 7. This backing from the team management undoubtedly played a significant role in boosting Bairstow’s morale and confidence.
However, the presence of Ben Foakes waiting in the wings added an element of pressure to Bairstow’s position. Foakes, known for his controlled batting style, presented a stark contrast to Bairstow’s aggressive approach. Yet, Bairstow’s performance in Manchester demonstrated that his unique style could yield results when executed correctly.