Jonny Bairstow celebrates the toughest century of his career on the third day in Sydney

Jonny Bairstow was celebrating the toughest century of his career after giving England fans a long-awaited moment of an Ashes win.

After surrendering his hopes of capturing the urn in 12 disappointing days of Test cricket in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne, Bairstow added to his grit and determination to post the first century of the tourists’ series on the third day in Sydney. sank deeply.

After registering his last three-figure score in three years and 36 innings, the 32-year-old won a tough set of conditions to reach an unbeaten 103 in the final over at the SCG.

Even the matter of going from 99 to 100 was complicit, with the Yorkshireman hitting a four against world number one Pat Cummins in the final over of the day.

It was an unforgettable day for Bairstow as he smashed the fourth ball for four to reach his seventh Test ton – whose efforts helped his team post 258 for seven in a loss of 158. Was.

He said: “I’m really over the moon to be honest. It was the toughest I’ve ever had under the circumstances.

“It was tough there and I’m really happy with it. Obviously they have a very good bowling attack so this was one of those where I’m happy to get to three figures again for England. I’m very, very happy. Proud. It’s been a lot of hard work. You know how much it means to me.”

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Jonny Bairstow faced pain on the way to his century (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Bairstow had the worst performance on a day when a handful of batsmen crushed their points with violently played deliveries.

On the very next ball after Ben Stokes was dismissed to end the 128-run partnership, Bairstow had his thumb bent backwards off a Cummins delivery, which sprung to life and easily spelled the end of his stay. could do

But he not only kept going after treatment from physio Craig de Weimarn, he continued to score with abandon.

“Anyone who’s been around me a long time knows it takes a long time to kick me out of the park,” he explained.

“So, yes, it was painful but it was a decision that I made to stay there. Those are the decisions you make on your own. The doctors can give you advice, but ultimately you can get away with the Ashes Test match in Sydney, New Year’s. We’re playing a Test match and it will take a long time to get away from you.”

The manner in which England lost the Ashes meant that the set-up is likely to change, and Bairstow is among the senior players who are likely to be shoving their shoulders.

Now it seems impossible and he can still retrieve the wicketkeeping glove after Jos Buttler continued his disappointing series with an eight-ball duck. When asked if he was starting to doubt his ability to enjoy days like these, Bairstow replied.

“No, I didn’t. I didn’t think so because with the hard work I put in, I always felt I had the ability to do it,” he said.

“That’s why you keep playing and you keep pushing and turning every day to practice, going into each game and putting your best foot forward.”

I am very, very proud. It’s been a lot of hard work. you know how much it means to meJonny Bairstow

Bairstow allowed himself a moment of satisfaction as he reflected on a brief conversation with an Australian fan over tea break after both he and Stokes climbed the stairs of the dressing room.

“It was a little worse than the crowd,” he said.

“It would have been nice if they were making it out when they finally left. Unfortunately, they weren’t there and they missed the end of a wonderful day of Test cricket.

“We’re trying to do our bit. People are enjoying the day’s cricket and unfortunately, sometimes you have guys who go way beyond the mark. I think standing up for yourself is important.”

Meanwhile, Kent captain Sam Billings has been included in the England squad as cover.

A statement read: “Billings, who has just completed a spell for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League, was due to fly to the UK this evening ahead of England’s T20I tour of the Caribbean. A negative PCR test result He will now attend the Test Party in Sydney after a period of isolation at the team hotel, subject to receiving.”