Former England captain Nasser Hussain has insisted that 32-year-old Jonny Bairstow was playing the best cricket of his career. He said that Bairstow was the perfect example of "Bazball," the name given to new coach Brendon McCullum's positive and aggressive style of play. Bairstow has scored five centuries this year.
“The saying ‘don’t mess with form’ is often heard in cricket dressing rooms and it means cashing in when you are in nick and remembering all those times when you just could not buy a run. One thing for certain this summer is Jonny Bairstow is not messing with form," said Hussain, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
Hussain said that the charismatic cricketer had hit the ball better than he ever had and showed a great example of the team's new philosophy because he scored three hundred in as many Tests. He argued that Bairstow was the perfect example of what Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum were working to accomplish with this England squad.
Bairstow shows excellence in game against India
Hussain praised Bairstow for making three hundred in a row—two against New Zealand—with a high-quality third made by Bairstow in his last Test against India. At that time, he did not see Bairstow play a risky shot.
The former cricket player, who is now a commentator, said that Bairstow had well-controlled instincts and emotions. He also explained that Kohli provoking him on Day 3 of the Test series only made him more determined to score big runs.
Additionally, Hussain asserted that Bairstow had functioned as a model for the team to imitate.
“There will be comparisons with the way Bairstow is playing and the approach of Stokes, but the difference is Jonny is a player, and Ben is the captain. Stokes is trying to set the template for his team and send a message to them of how he wants them to play,” he said.
Comparing Stokes with Bairstow
Hussain said Stokes had one of the smartest batsmen he had seen recently. Hussain also explained that Stokes did not want to ask a player to do something he was not willing to do himself, so he went down the field when he did not have to. Hussain argued that the captain would have to make some changes at some point.
Not only that, Hussain said that like Eoin Morgan's team for white-ball cricket, this England Test team would make mistakes from time to time. They are looking for a limit. England cannot go from where they were to where they are trying to be and win every game.
In India, England is playing a top-notch team. Kohli was attempting to do what India had demonstrated they could do when attacked—hit back harder. Yesterday, it was what Kohli was trying to accomplish.
When Australia won in Australia and England last year, India attacked them hard. They did it again at Edgbaston, but it was another entertaining Test match. Bairstow, England's "Man of the moment," has done much to help with this.