England now leads New Zealand 2-0 after Tuesday’s innings saw them claim victory by five wickets. Their victory was largely due to Jonny Bairstow’s extraordinary century.
Bairstow made 136 from 92 balls before he was dismissed by Trent Boult. Even with that, Bairstow’s feat on Tuesday was truly remarkable and was largely responsible for England’s win.
Bairstow’s century was given support after he was dismissed by skipper Ben Stokes’ 75 not out. Stokes has been largely supportive since the series began. Last week, he also posted a half-century, which contributed to England’s victory.
In the first innings, former captain Joe Root and Ollie Pope helped England with centuries each, but it was not enough as New Zealand had a total of 553 runs. This helps to give more perspective to what happened on Tuesday and why it means so much to the England players.
Leading 2-0 in a three-Test series means that England has won the series, regardless of the outcome of the last Test. This would be England’s first win in about 16 months and proves that they may just have achieved a few things by making the right changes to their coaching team. It would also serve as hope for a brighter future, one backed by more wins than losses. But it may be early to conclude.
The strategy devised by the new coach Brendon McCullum and Stokes has proved very productive so far. You could tell how much effort had been put into making this victory, not just from the players alone but from the technical side.
Although the last Test does not matter at this point, England can announce to the world that they are back with a whitewash over their visitors as they claim their first victory since January 2021.
Written by: Leon Osamor