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  5. Nine pins, a plate and wire: Bairstow considers himself lucky to be playing despite career-threatening injury

Nine pins, a plate and wire: Bairstow considers himself lucky to be playing despite career-threatening injury

Jonny Bairstow smashed a quickfire 99* in the first innings at Old Trafford as his quickfire knock helped England take a lead of 275 runs in the fourth Ashes Test.

India TV Sports Desk Written By: India TV Sports Desk New Delhi Published on: July 22, 2023 16:23 IST
Jonny Bairstow played a smashing knock of 99* in the fourth
Image Source : GETTY Jonny Bairstow played a smashing knock of 99* in the fourth Test against Australia

Amid criticism regarding his form, England wicketkeeper batter Jonny Bairstow slammed a quickfire 99* to help his side take a 275-run lead in the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford. Bairstow, whose highest score in the last five innings before the MNanchester Test was 20 has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons since the infamous stumping at Lord's. After a superb 78 in the first innings of the Edgbaston Test, Bairstow was struggling with the bat, however, he let it all out on Friday, July 21. 

After the platform was set by Zak Crawley's 189, the other England batters just had to pile on Australia's misery and Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Harry Brook all just did that before Bairstow showed shades of the madman Jonny he was last year, making a mockery of the best in the world.

Bairstow isn't in the line-up just for his batting this time around as he has also been keeping. It has been three years since Bairstow last kept wickets in Test cricket, in addition to it he was coming back from a career-threatening injury after breaking his leg in three places last year in a freak accident while playing golf. The Yorkshireman was terrified that he'd ever walk again or not and now too he considers himself lucky to be playing.

After his smashing knock, Bairstow was asked about how he feels keeping after such a long time, and he said, "I've not kept wicket for three years. I've got nine pins, a plate and a wire that goes through my ankle. It's part and parcel of it, I've had nine months out.

"It's not the lack of overs. I'm still just 10 months post-operation right now. So when you speak to the surgeon and he says: 'I'm surprised you're walking and running, never mind playing professional sport,' I'm delighted to be where I'm at.

"I'm delighted as to where I am from a physical point of view. It's taken a heck of a lot of graft, it's been a rollercoaster, a lot happened in those nine months, and to take the field again with a group of boys I care a heck of a lot about is a special place for me to be.

"You don't know how bad it's going to be. It could have ended my career. That's exactly how it could have been," Bairstow told Sky Sports.

England are in the driver's seat to seal the fourth Test as Australia are still 162 runs behind with six wickets in hand if rain passes by.

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