Birmingham, June 17 (Ajit Weekly News) Attacking batter Jonny Bairstow hailed an adventurous first-day declaration from England skipper Ben Stokes in the first Test of Ashes 2023 against Australia and believes that it could be the “best form of attack” heading into day two.
Stokes threw caution to wind on day one of the first Test with England opting for a first-evening declaration with the score on 393/8 in their first innings after scoring at a rate of more than five-an-over across the day.
After smashing his 30th century in Test cricket, Root was batting beautifully on 118 when the signal came from the balcony and would surely have kept the scoreboard ticking had he been left to his own devices.
However, Stokes swapped the promise of extra runs for four late overs in the hope of snapping up a late wicket. The decision meant a quick skirmish between long-time sparring partners Stuart Broad and David Warner, but England were unable to generate a breakthrough despite pushing hard.
“I’m sure there’s many decisions Ben has made that have taken commentators and other people by surprise, but it was no surprise to us,” Bairstow was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“We didn’t know anything about it, it was a scramble to get the tape on, the pads on and all the rest. But when it’s something that’s not expected, it can be the best form of attack.
“Having played the game for as long as we have, we’re aware a 20-minute slot for an opening pair is something that’s not very nice. It can be a bit niggly. It’s a bit of a shot to nothing – there might be an unbelievable ball in there, or a loose shot in there.
“We’ll come back with a ball that’s four overs old, a fresh bowling attack and a team that is really looking forward to the challenge,” he added.
Bairstow, who scored vital run-a-ball 78 in his first Test innings back after a 10-month lay-off, was part of a vital 121-run stand with his long-time friend and foil, Joe Root.
“It was brilliant. There are some special traits that he’s got and he does special things. As someone who has known him for a really long time, been through thick and thin, ups and downs and lots of different things together, it was an absolute pleasure to be out there with him,” Bairstow said about his Yorkshire team-mate Root.
“He’s a fantastic player and talent. He loves batting, loves being out there, loves the occasion, loves representing his country. It takes a lot of skill, a lot of endeavour and patience,” he added.
Australia’s openers Usman Khawaja and David Warner will resume the Day 2 of the first Test on 14/0, 379 behind, having survived a tricky mini-session at the end of Friday’s play.
–Ajit Weekly News
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