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Jonny Bairstow: ‘It’s been an emotional time … there were mood swings’

• Bairstow releases his raw emotions after polished century
• ‘No one sees the hard work and the ice machines in rehab’

Jonny Bairstow’s century was a polished, silky innings with barely a false shot and barring the sapping heat it seemed to be achieved effortlessly with the minimum of fuss. All of which contrasted with his celebrations when he reached three figures. Here there was a raw, unsmiling release of emotion as he tossed his bat and helmet to the ground, took a quick embrace from Ben Stokes before staring with gimlet eyes in the general direction of the press box, which he assured us afterwards was “coincidental”.

Of course, he was pleased with his efforts. “A hundred for England is special and there’s a lot of emotion and a lot of hard work involved in getting back on the field. No one sees the hard work and all the time with the ice machines in rehab. That injury was potentially a six- to eight-week lay off,” explained Bairstow and he could have been content to take the course of least resistance and write this series off. “Instead I pushed and pushed to get back sooner. I spent a lot of time with the medical team and, of course, there were some mood swings. That’s all part of human nature and of professional sport”.

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