Full name Jonathan Marc Bairstow
Born September 26, 1989, Bradford, Yorkshire
Playing role Wicketkeeper batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
A right-handed wicket-keeping batsman who plays for Yorkshire, Jonny Bairstow is the son of former England keeper David Bairstow. His introduction to the game was natural and came at an early age, and within no time rich accolades came his way. He was chosen as the winner of the Young Wisden Schools Cricketer of the year award for his 654 runs in the 2007 season. Soon, he went on to represent Yorkshire’s second XI and impressed many with his consistent batting, scoring 308 runs at an average of 61.6 in 2008. This included a 139 not out against Worcestershire at Headingley Carnegie. In October that year, Bairstow signed a full time contract with the county side.
On his first class debut in 2009, he top-scored with an unbeaten 82 in the second innings. He went on to become a regular in the county side over the next two years, and averaged more than forty in both. He scored eight fifties, but could not convert them into triple-figure scores. 2011 turned out to be a better year for the youngster, as he was selected in the England Lions squad for the tour to West Indies in January. In May that year, he scored his maiden first-class century (which he converted into a double) and was picked for the national squad to play against Ireland in an ODI game in August. However, he was not selected in the playing eleven.
His first international appearance came in the fifth ODI game against the visiting Indians in Cardiff, and he made it special with a stunning 21-ball 41 to help England win the match. Further success during a warm-up match against India and in T20s against Pakistan led to Bairstow’s first Test call to face West Indies. At the beginning of the 2012 season, Baristow had hit two brilliant hundreds for Yorkshire and was eager to capitalize on that achievement. His Test debut against West Indies, however, was not that eventful and was mediocre with the bat.
He was then ignored for the first two Tests against South Africa in 2012 in favour of Ravi Bopara but was recalled for the third Test when Kevin Pietersen was dropped. Bairstow responded effectively by hitting a gritty 95 and left the field to a standing ovation. He again hit a classy half century in the second innings but it was not enough to help England to victory. He later went on to hit his second highest first-class score of 182 against Leicestershire at Scarborough in the LV Championship and also managed a terrific 68* in the semi finals of Friends Life T20 against Sussex.
Although Bairstow was selected in the England squad for the 2012 ICC World Twenty20, his contribution was negligible and failed to flourish with the bat. Bairstow was included in the England team that toured India in 2012-2013 and performed exceptionally well in the warm-up match against Mumbai A, hitting a remarkable 118. He was only included in the squad for the second Test to replace Ian Bell but did not make a significant contribution to warrant an inclusion for the third Test.
A strong 64 laced with powerful cuts and controlled pulls at his home ground in Headingley against the Kiwis in 2013 handed Bairstow his much awaited Ashes debut at Nottingham. However, Bairstow managed only a lone fifty in the 4 games he played to cap a rather shoddy series. Bairstow then travelled to Australia for the return Ashes series and played a couple of games at Melbourne and Sydney respectively, but could not do anything special to bail his side of trouble. It was the tour of South Africa in 2015 that saw Bairstow turning to his best.
The wicket-keeper batsman made his maiden Test hundred in Cape Town, was involved in a stunning 399-run stand with Ben Stokes for the sixth wicket and ended the series with 359 runs at an astonishing average of 89.75. He then began the home summer with two hundreds against Sri Lanka. A solid series against Pakistan was followed by solid showing in his first tour of the sub-continent. 2016 was a year to remember for Bairstow – not just for his 1470 runs at an average of 58.8 but also for his 70 dismissals as a wicket-keeper, a record for the most dismissals by a keeper in a calendar year.
Every English and Australian player is defined by how they fare in the Ashes. Although England suffered a hammering in Australia during the 2017-18 series, Bairstow was among the very few visiting batsmen to impress. Unlike many of his mates, he seemed comparatively at ease against Australia’s rampaging pace attack and also had a century to his name in Perth. Given the number of starts he got, Bairstow would be disappointed at having under-achieved through the series. However, it was a tour that was only going to improve him mentally.
Bairstow found it hard to break into the XI as the wicket-keeper batsman in the shorter formats – courtesy Buttler’s heroics. However, his imperious form during 2016-17 coupled with Jason Roy’s lean patch forced the selectors to pick Bairstow as the opener. It didn’t take long for him to make a mark as he notched up two centuries in the home ODIs against West Indies in 2017.
In 2018, Bairstow became the first English batter to record three successive ODI tons. The latter part of that year though saw Bairstow lose his form. When he twisted his ankle while playing football in training during the away series against Sri Lanka, it almost seemed that he had gifted his spot in the playing XI away as three players (Bairstow, Alex Hales, and Jason Roy) were competing for two spots. However, Alex Hales’s withdrawal from the World Cup squad in a way solved the team management’s problem as the opening spot was fixed.
Bairstow has been an integral member of the ‘New England’ team which not only entered the multi-nation competition as the ranked one side in the world but also as one of the favourites to win the tournament. Bairstow showed his batting prowess in his maiden IPL season in 2019 – scoring 445 runs in 10 innings – and his partnership with Australian David Warner was one of the major talking points of the tournament.
The Yorkshire star had all the expectations of the world on his shoulders because he was one of the flag bearers of the all-attack theory that England had mastered in the build-up to the 2019 WC. But nerves did get the better of Jonny for the first part of the tourney. He started the mega event with a duck and could only register fifty plus scores against Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
However, as they say when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Bairstow roared back with back-to-back tons in must win games against India and New Zealand to see England into the semis. In between he had few arguments with former skipper Michael Vaughan which got the media talking. With a World Cup title, Bairstow’s attacking batsmanship was hailed in white-ball cricket, but the same attacking instincts caused frictions in his Test technique, a flaw which was exploited mercilessly by bowlers worldwide and resulted in the batsman getting dropped ahead of the tour to New Zealand in 2019.
BATTING & FIELDING STATS