Bairstow responds to Mumbai A with ton
Jonny Bairstow staked a claim to keep his Test place with a restorative century as England recovered from 66 for four at lunch to post 338 for six on day one of three versus Mumbai A at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy.
Bairstow shared a 156-run stand with Eoin Morgan, who hit 76, and then added 107 alongside Samit Patel, who followed his hundred against India A this week with a smooth 59 not out.
Bairstow’s maiden first-class England ton came in his first appearance in his country’s whites since making 95 and 54 versus South Africa at Lord’s during August.
Despite those innings and today’s, he is not guaranteed to play in the first Test with India next week due to Kevin Pietersen’s return to the squad and Patel’s batting form combined with his useful spin bowling.
The rested Alastair Cook’s opening partner for the opening Test at Ahmedabad, which begins on Thursday week, remains uncertain after Nick Compton recorded his second single-figure score in two innings on this tour and Joe Root, making his first senior England appearance, batted well through the morning only to fall for 28 on the stroke of lunch.
Root and Jonathan Trott put on 50 after Compton’s early departure, but the tourists then lost three wickets for 11 runs up to lunch. However, Morgan and Bairstow prospered until beyond tea and the touring side were in a strong position by stumps.
Tour vice-captain Stuart Broad led in place of Cook, while England also rested Pietersen, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann and Steven Finn for the second of three warm-up matches ahead of the first Test.
Compton had to dive to make his ground and complete the scampered single that got Root under way. His reward, however, was a good ball soon afterwards from Kshemal Waingankar which held its line and evaded his forward-defence to knock out off stump with one to his name.
Root came through the initial threat of Waingankar, a seamer who took five wickets against England four years ago when they were bowled out for just 98 in a limited-overs defeat but who was today playing in only his 12th first-class match at the age of 27.
Root, six years younger, displayed the maturity that has impressed so many as he waited more than an hour before registering a boundary - a clip off his legs when Shardul Thakur returned for his second spell after drinks.
It was to be his only four too, before he was caught at short-leg off the part-time bowling of home captain Suryakumar Yadav.
By then Trott had wafted at a wide one from Javed Khan only to edge behind on 28 and Ian Bell was caught for four by wicketkeeper Sufiyan Shaikh when Waingankar found the edge with movement off the pitch.
Morgan and Bairstow had an important job to do to ensure England's innings did not fall well short of expectations against a routine attack on a fair pitch.
They were up to the task, in a stand featuring just one minor moment of fortune in 40 overs when Bairstow’s mistimed push off the back foot did not stick in Waingankar's fingers on 56.
Morgan clubbed Yadav high over long-on for an early six in a 81-ball fifty also containing six fours. Bairstow’s half-century occupied 77 deliveries and featured five fours.
Thakur eventually had Morgan lbw with a yorker, but Patel picked up where he left off at the Brabourne Stadium, reaching his milestone from just 60 deliveries, and his alliance with Bairstow came at nearly a run a ball.
Bairstow edged Javed low to first slip for 118 shortly before the close when Broad was in situ alongside Patel.