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Jonny Bairstow fires ‘used Ranji Trophy pitch’ curveball at India ahead of landmark 100th Test in Dharamsala

Jonny Bairstow and Ravichandran Ashwin will be featured in their 100th Test game together at Dharamsala.

Gearing up for his landmark Test against India in Dharamsala, England’s Jonny Bairstow will also be fighting to save his red-ball career as the Englishman has failed to live up to expectations in the five-match series. Bairstow is all set to earn his 100th Test cap for England in the upcoming encounter against Rohit Sharma’s Team India at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium on Friday.

England’s player Jonny Bairstow speaks during a press conference at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala(AFP)

Interestingly, Bairstow will not be the only player to complete 100 Test appearances in Dharamsala. Veteran Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is also set to play his 100th Test for India at the same venue. Only for the fourth time in the history of the longest format, two players are recording their 100th Test appearance in the same encounter. During the 2000 season, ex-England captain Michael Atherton and Alec Stewart played their 100th Test together against the West Indies at Old Trafford.

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ALSO READ: ‘Why somebody else gets more games to fail and I get only one?’: R Ashwin on making ‘peace’ with disappointments

‘Playing 100 Tests means a hell of a lot’

Speaking at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday, England’s Bairstow shared his views about the match pitch. Bairstow acknowledged that the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium has prepared a used wicket from the Ranji Trophy match. “Playing 100 Tests means a hell of a lot. It’s a used pitch from the Ranji Trophy last month… let’s see. Ground staff have done an amazing job with the pitch, considering the weather we have had here. They have done a great job with the outfield here in Dharamshala. Looks good. The ground is one of the most picturesque venues in the world,” Bairstow said ahead of his 100th Test.

Bairstow has struggled to revive his career after breaking his leg in a freak golfing accident. The Englishman made his Test debut at Lord’s back in 2012. Since his return after the freak accident, Bairstow has not scored a century in his last 10 Tests. The England batter achieved the highest score of only 38 against India in eight innings. “Every young kid that sets out on a journey playing professional cricket wants to try and play 100 Test matches,” Bairstow said.


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