After scoring a composed 95 for Yorkshire yesterday, York’s Jonny Bairstow admitted that he hasn’t done himself justice in an England shirt.
The White Rose batsman impressed with eleven boundaries in 161 balls during yesterday’s second day of their LV= County Championship match against Durham, which the visitors have dominated.
Captain Andrew Gale also posted a gutsy 124 as Yorkshire declared on 589-8 just after tea. Durham then replied with 62-1 from 19 overs before bad light ended play early.
The pair, who came together late on day one, shared 198 inside 49 overs for the fourth wicket, batting through the morning session and into the afternoon.
Bairstow’s innings was not the most aggressive he has ever played.
But, on a pitch offering help for the bowlers, he found a way to dominate, and he looked on course for a notable century until he was unluckily given out lbw to Chris Rushworth.
With the Sky TV cameras in attendance at Emirates Durham, this was an ideal time to shine and press his claims to retain the gloves for the first Test of the summer against Sri Lanka next month.
Bairstow is right. He hasn’t done himself justice at the highest level. But there is definite talent there with bat and gloves.
In 14 Test appearances so far, the 24-year-old has scored only four fifties, including 95 and 54 against South Africa at Lord’s in August 2012.
Asked what he needs to do to retain his place and then stay in the team, he said: "I just need to play a bit more like that if I'm honest. That's something I haven't necessarily done.
“I've not necessarily gone out and played the way Jonny Bairstow has done in county cricket. That's something I want to do a bit more of.
"The way I played at Lord's against South Africa in the first and second innings was how I want to go about my cricket.”
"I'm pleased with the way I played. Obviously, coming back after the injury (broken finger), coming out and playing the way I did was very pleasing. I was disappointed to be given out, but that's the way it goes.”
With Matt Prior currently out injured with an Achilles problem, Bairstow is probably the favourite to play in that first Test.
“I don’t know. That's for Peter Moores and everyone else to decide.” he added. “I'll just come out and do as well as I can for Yorkshire and see where that takes me.”
Gale’s 231-ball effort was mightily impressive given that he said he felt “the worst I've felt in ten years at the crease” in the early stages of his innings on Sunday evening.
There is still plenty of help from the conditions for the bowlers, although neither side have been able to make full use of them. Durham also dropped seven catches during their 163.2 overs in the field.
Adil Rashid and Andrew Hodd shared 87 for the sixth wicket before the declaration came just after tea. Rashid hit 68 off 96 balls, but he was one of three wickets to fall in four balls before the declaration.
Ryan Sidebottom took the only Durham wicket when he had Keaton Jennings caught behind in the 16th over. Mark Stoneman is 48 not out.