The first time I saw him, I thought he’d play for England: Alastair Cook

The first time I saw him, I thought he’d play for England: Alastair Cook

Jonny Bairtstow, England
England batsman Jonny Bairtstow celebrates after reaching his century during day two of the 1st Investec Test match. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England skipper, Alastair Cook is delighted with the first test match of the series against Sri Lanka at Headingley had folded out. England won the match quite convincingly by an innings 88 runs, inside three days.

England pace bowling spearhead, James Anderson was brilliant with the ball and made use of the overcast conditions. Anderson bagged 10 wickets in the match, with outstanding bowling figures of 5 for 16 in the first innings and 5 for 29 in the second innings. In the process, he became the first England player to take 10 wickets in a Test at Headingley, since fast bowling great Fred Trueman did so on his Yorkshire home ground against Australia back in 1961.

However, the player of the match was the Yorkshire star Jonny Bairstow, the son of the late David Bairstow, scored 140 off 183 balls, on a pitch where all other batsmen found it hard to find the runs. Alex Hales with his watchful 86, contributed to the England score of 298. Sri Lankan batsmen had no answers to the England bowling line-up and were dismissed for 91 and 119 in their first and second innings respectively.

Cook praised the performance of Bairstow and said that he knew that Bairstow would play for England, the first time he saw him. Bairstow was looked after as one of the best batsman for the future since he made a match and series-clinching 83 not out in a one-day international against New Zealand at Durham’s Chester-le-Street in June last year.

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“Ever since that ODI innings at Durham, he realised he can play international cricket and be the talent we all knew he could be,” said Cook. ”I remember the first time I saw him play, at Scarborough, he played differently to everyone else — we couldn’t stop him scoring. I thought he’d play for England, the first time I saw him.”

“Jonny was playing on a different wicket to the other 21 guys — it was an extraordinary innings. The bowlers, you don’t want to take it for granted — but you knew with those two (Anderson and Stuart Broad), the skill they have got, it would be really hard work for Sri Lanka.”

Sri Lanka has been really poor with the bat doesn’t even put up a fight against England. And quite clearly the Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was quite embarrassed with the defeat. ”It was quite an embarrassing defeat … humiliating. Anderson showed his class, and Stuart Broad was brilliant as well,” he added. ”You have to be realistic, batting against these guys in these conditions. But one or two of our guys needed to put their hands up, and we failed to do that.”