01192018

Headbutt celebration was light-hearted fun – Bairstow

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Pint-sized Ashes: Australia strike back on day two

England’s Jonny Bairstow said his ‘headbutt’ celebration after his century on day two of the third Ashes Test was “light-hearted fun”.

Bairstow was accused of headbutting Australia opener Cameron Bancroft at the start of the tour, with both saying the incident was “without malice”.

After reaching his ton at the Waca in Perth, Bairstow touched his helmet with his head – but said it was not planned.

“It was a bit of fun with everything that’s gone on,” the 28-year-old added.

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What really happened between Bancroft & Bairstow?

Bairstow’s fourth Test hundred was the wicketkeeper’s first against Australia in his 12th Ashes match.

“In many ways it was my favourite hundred,” he said. “To score an Ashes hundred is something you dream about as a kid, but it’s eluded me until now.

“You want to look back when you’ve retired and be able to say: ‘I made an Ashes hundred at the Waca.’ It meant a huge amount.”

The Yorkshire player added that his long look to the sky on completing his century was a nod to his father, David – a former England international who took his own life in 1998.

“That’s something that naturally happens,” he said. “It was a whole heap of emotions that come flooding through.”

Jonny Bairstow looks to the sky after bringing up his maiden Ashes century<!–

Jonny Bairstow looks to the sky after bringing up his maiden Ashes century

Bairstow shared a fifth-wicket stand of 237 with Dawid Malan, an England record in Tests against Australia.

But when Malan fell for 140, it triggered a collapse from 368-4 to 403 all out.

“We were 131-4, so you can look at it as a fantastic recovery,” said Bairstow. “You can also look at it as a position that we let slip.”

Australia then moved to 203-3, still 200 behind but with captain Steve Smith unbeaten on 92.

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Bairstow explains his Ashes hundred celebration

England, who are 2-0 down in the five-match series, must avoid defeat at the Waca – a ground where they have not won since 1978 – to avoid surrendering the Ashes.

“We have shown previously that we have the capability of taking five or six wickets in a session, so there’s no reason why we can’t now,” said Bairstow.

“The guys in our bowling attack have some exquisite skills and I believe they are capable of taking 20 wickets in this Test.”

Analysis

by ex-England batsman James Taylor on BBC Radio 5 live’s Sports Panel

“I’ve still got hope but there’s been a common theme; when England have had the initiative, they’ve given it straight back to Australia.

“They’ve not realised those key moments and won those key moments.

“Just like in this match after that great partnership between Malan and Bairstow, in typical English style we lost six wickets for 35 runs.

“It’s a big session in the morning, we need some early wickets that’s for sure.”

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