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Jonny Bairstow makes England’s No 3 spot his own with stirring century

• Bairstow hits sixth Test ton on return to side
• England reach 312-7 on day one of third Test

The conundrum that is the No 3 slot is heading towards a resolution. Something very odd would have to happen for Jonny Bairstow not to continue there when England next embark upon a Test match in Bridgetown Barbados on 23 January.

Here in sapping heat, Bairstow hit his sixth Test century and one of his most cherished on his return to the team. And he was batting at three. This must have been a relief to the management as well as Bairstow himself. England are adopting the policy of selecting their best available batsmen, regardless of where they usually bat and in these conditions, where pace bowlers are little more evident than a lesser spotted woodpecker, that seems an eminently sensible idea. In fact this theory may well work better for them than any other whatever the conditions.

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