Jonny Bairstow's batting has gone from strength to strength since he scored his maiden Test century in January 2016 against South Africa.

The Yorkshire native was England’s leading batsman across their two summer Test series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, scoring 753 runs and facing plenty of spin in the process, and will encounter more of the same on the winter tours to Bangladesh and India.

So how does he give himself the best possible chance of success when batting against spin? Here are four tips straight from the horse's mouth. 

Step one: balance is key

“First of all, it’s really important that your balance is correct at the crease, that’s a crucial part so making sure that your feet aren’t too far apart, aren’t too close together – making sure you’re really light on your feet.

“Being able to get down the wicket, get all the way back in your crease and make a decisive decision on where the ball is pitching.”

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Jonny Bairstow's spin tips

Watch Jonny Bairstow's guide to batting against spin.


Step two: play with the spin

“It’s important to play with the spin. If you’re going against the spin you’ve probably got more of a chance of a leading edge or, in fact, getting out – it heightens the risk.

“So whether it’s an off-spinner and you play more to the leg-side if you’re a right-handed batsman, or indeed a left-arm spinner or a leg spinner, then it’s important to hit with the spin and go with the groove of the ball.”

Focus on the ball and how you want to execute the shot.

Jonny Bairstow

Step three: commit to the shot

“When you have made that decision of whether you’re going to play with the spin, play against the spin, go down the pitch, stay in your crease, it’s important to commit to it. 

“Focus on the ball and how you want to execute the shot; it's really important because if you don’t execute it right then you are going to get out.”

Jonny Bairstow hits out at Old Trafford against Pakistan

Jonny Bairstow hits out at Old Trafford against Pakistan

Step four: beware premeditation

“Another tip would be not to premeditate too much. A lot of the time it’s perceived that there’s a lot of premeditation within playing spin.

“Yes, you can premeditate if there is a certain field setting so I’m not saying don’t do it completely. All I’m saying is that it heightens the risk yet again if you’re premeditating what the bowler may do.

“You may come down the wicket too early so the bowler may see you, may bowl it wide and may bowl it down leg-side. Or if he sees you go to sweep he might fire it faster so you may get out lbw or play the shot incorrectly.”

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