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Other SportsIndia v England: Bairstow primed for 'emotional' 100th Test cap

India v England: Bairstow primed for ’emotional’ 100th Test cap

Jonny Bairstow is expecting an emotional occasion when he steps out for his 100th Test cap at this week’s fifth contest between India and England in Himachal Pradesh.

Bairstow will become England’s 16th red-ball centurion when the final leg of England’s five-match tour begins on Thursday, with Ben Stokes’ team simply looking to salvage some pride at 3-1 down.

Stokes achieved the feat himself in the third Test in Rajkot, though Bairstow has navigated a more challenging route to the top than many of his team-mates.

Having endured spells out of the England team as well as fighting back from a horrific leg break suffered on the golf course in 2022, Bairstow is determined to relish his milestone appearance.

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“It means a hell of a lot,” Bairstow said. “Every young kid that sets out on a journey playing professional cricket wants to try to play 100 Test matches.

“You look back to 2012 when I made my debut at Lord’s, if 12 years later you said I’d be playing 100 Test matches, you’d snap your hand off for one but also pinch yourself as well.

“It will be an emotional week. I’m proud, you know what I’m like, I’m an emotional guy so get the tissues ready.”

England have suffered their first series defeat under captain Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, with Bairstow’s average of 21.25 throughout the tour well down on his career figure of 36.42, but the wicketkeeper believes he has just been on the wrong side of some fine margins.

“I’ve been pleased with how I’ve played throughout the series,” he said.

“I’ve had a couple of good balls, a couple of umpire’s calls and I’ve made a couple of bad decisions, that happens when you play against India in India.

“You just have to be content in that. I’ve been striking the ball well. I’m full of confidence coming into this week.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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