Cricket World Player of the Week - Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow took Test cricket by the scruff of the neck with 394 runs in the three-match series against New Zealand at an eye-watering strike rate of over 120.
That Jonny Bairstow finished as the third-highest run-scorer in the three-match Test series between New Zealand and England did not come as a surprise. One always knew that the Yorkshire batter had it in him to succeed at the Test level.
However, that he scored his runs at a sensational strike rate of 120.12 boggles the mind. The next best strike rate in the series among batters with a minimum of 100 runs was 82.55 by Ben Stokes who scored almost half the runs of Jonny Bairstow.
Bairstow struck two centuries and one half-century in the series. What is to be emphasised here is the way he changed the game in both the last two Test matches.
Had it not been for the swashbuckling nature of his innings, one doubts that England would have won the series against World Test champions New Zealand, let alone doing it so comprehensively.
Jonny Bairstow has taken to the new philosophy of the English Test team under the leadership of captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum like a fish to water. Perhaps, this is exactly the mindset he needed to unlock himself in red-ball cricket.
Dangerous times ahead for opposition bowlers!