Article

Bairstow enjoys playful celebration of crucial century

15 December 2017 12:12

Jonny Bairstow was all smiles after making fun of the Cameron Bancroft headbutt fiasco in celebrating his maiden Ashes hundred in Perth on Friday.

England's wicketkeeper-batsman came under the spotlight after the opening-Test defeat in Brisbane, when it emerged he had been involved in an incident with the Australia opener in a Perth bar prior to the series.

Both Bairstow and Bancroft brushed the headbutt off as "without malice" but it still came as an unwanted distraction for an England team that has come under scrutiny for its off-field antics over recent months.

On day two of the third Test at the WACA, however, Bairstow was in the headlines for the right reasons, converting his overnight 75 not out to a fourth Test century as England posted 403 all out before the hosts replied with 203-3, led by captain Steve Smith's unbeaten 92.

Bairstow - who shared a fifth-wicket stand of 237 with fellow centurion Dawid Malan - celebrated reaching three figures by looking to the skies and then gently headbutting his helmet.

"It was just a bit of light fun and that's exactly how it should be taken," he told BT Sport.

"This morning was pretty tough but I was delighted to get my first Ashes hundred, it's something as a boy you really want to do.

"To get it at the WACA away from home means a hell of a lot.

"We could have kicked on and got a few more but after being 100-4 [sic], we'd have taken that. Tomorrow morning is a crucial session for us. Come the end of tomorrow who knows what could happen. The wicket's offering a decent amount so we need to get it in the right areas."

Bairstow was eighth out for England, playing across the line and losing his middle stump to Mitchell Starc, but he rejected the notion he changed his approach having found himself batting with the tail.

"We're very fortunate to have those guys coming in at seven, eight, nine and Broady's got a Test hundred coming in at 10," he said.

"It's tough coming in for those guys because those guys [Australia's pace attack] are ruthless. Unfortunately today that risk-reward wasn't on the right side for myself."

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