England batter Jonny Bairstow has credited his sensational run of form in the past five Test innings, including the two against India, to freedom from COVID-19 protocols and role clarity under new head coach Brendon McCullum. Bairstow struck 106 and 114 not out to play a major role in England’s seven wicket win over India in the rescheduled fifth Test which the hosts won here on Tuesday. Before that, he scored 1, 16, 8, 136, 162, 71 not out in the three-match Test series against New Zealand which England won 3-0.
“It’s the freedom we have now. We’re not in hotel rooms, bubbles, having to do Covid tests everyday and we can do normal things like go to the shop, go for a beer, see your friends and family,” Bairstow told the Tailenders podcast.
“All of those things accumulate together and obviously the excitement of working with Baz (McCullum) and the clarity he gave everyone.” England’s four successive Test victories recently have come playing aggressive cricket under New Zealander McCullum.
Bairstow missed the beginning of the county season this summer as he was playing in the Indian Premier League. But McCullum told him that would not affect his place in the Test team.
“Baz also spoke to me a bit about imposing myself on the game – nothing technical. That can be tricky in red-ball cricket because you don’t want to look like you’re slogging.