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Under-fire Bairstow nears landmark, McCullum shows faith in batter

Source: ANI
Last updated on: February 28, 2024 17:40 IST
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Jonny Bairstow has had a below par series, with a best score of 38

IMAGE: Jonny Bairstow has had a below par series, with a best score of 38. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

England head coach Brendon McCullum confirmed that struggling batter Jonny Bairstow will be playing the fifth and final Test against India at Dharamsala, which will also be his 100th appearance in whites.

Th Test begins on March 7. England is down 1-3 in the series.


Speaking to the reports, McCullum said: "Yes, he will be playing his hundredth Test. Jonny loves a milestone too. He won't shy away from that. He will play. It will be really emotional for him. Everyone knows Jonny's story and as you guys will know he is quite an emotional character at times and big milestones like that do mean a lot to him. It will be a really emotional time for him and we look forward to sharing it with him," McCullum said.

Bairstow has not had the best time in the ongoing series against India, scoring just 170 runs in four Tests and eight innings at an average of 21.25, with the best score of just 38 runs.

In 99 Tests and 176 innings, Bairstow has made 5,974 runs at an average of 36.42, with 12 centuries and 26 fifties. His best score is 167*. But over the last two years in 16 Tests, Bairstow has hit 1,173 runs with an average of 47

Despite losing the series, McCullum maintains positive outlook.

"There are times in games where we have not quite screwed down our method just yet. We have lost here, did not win the Ashes, but we are a better team than 18 months ago and we have got an opportunity in the next 18 months to do something special. We will keep chiselling away at those rough edges. It is not a bad time to be coach of the England team," he said.

Under Stokes and McCullum, England has played 22 Tests, winning 14 and losing seven. One match ended in a draw. A notable highlight of their tenure was drawing the Ashes series at home by 2-2 after being down 2-0.

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Source: ANI