Here's Jonny! Bairstow shows true class with Ageas Bowl ton
Jonny Bairstow thanked England's management for showing their faith in his batting after powering the hosts to an emphatic win over the West Indies at the Ageas Bowl.
The Yorkshireman failed to pass 21 in four innings against the tourists in the recent Test series.
But the keeper-batsman roared back to form with two centuries in five knocks in the one-day game.
His latest – a stunning unbeaten 141 at the home of Hampshire – completed England’s 4-0 win over the Caribbean visitors in the Royal London One-Day Series.
Bairstow was disappointed with his performances with the bat in the Test arena.
But he was delighted to get a chance to find his form again before the Ashes series in Australia, which begins in November.
‘You are constantly working on all aspects of your game,’ said Bairstow, who celebrated his 28th birthday on Tuesday.
‘Coming off the back of a disappointing Test series for myself, to have the faith shown in me by the captain and coach to open the batting and then repay them in a positive manner is huge.
‘I think we have strength all the way through the order.
‘I don’t think it is just the top. We saw at the Oval with Jos (Buttler) and Mo (Ali) coming in, we still had Woakesy, Adil (Rashid) and Liam (Plunkett).
‘That just shows the strength in depth we have as a group.
‘Looking forward it is an exciting time for us.
‘When people are in the nets, working on their game, they are constantly striving to push each other on an upward curve.’
Chris Gayle provided the early entertainment, giving the West Indies a flying start with a brutal onslaught off the bowling of Jake Ball.
The England bowler was hammered for 34 off six successive balls, including four consecutive sixes.
Debut-making Tom Curran ended the onslaught two overs later – with Plunkett taking a superb diving catch running back from mid-off.
From there the tourists’ innings stalled – pinned down by the accurate spin of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali.
At one stage they went 20 overs without a boundary.
Eventually Shai Hope (72) and a late flourish from Sunil Ambris (38 not out) and Ashley Nurse (31 not out) helped them to 288 for six.
But England quickly showed that score was well below par.
Openers Jason Roy and Bairstow dominated the West Indies bowling attack, cruising to a partnership of 71 runs in the opening 10 overs.
Roy made it back-to-back half-centuries but was frustrated by once again just missing out on a ton – leg before wicket on 96.
Bairstow was in no mood to make the same mistake.
He reached his century off 90 balls and, alongside Joe Root, saw England home with 11 overs to spare.