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A golden summer for England’s Yorkshire run machines

Jonny Bairstow (left) and Joe Root have starred for England (Mike Egerton/PA)
Jonny Bairstow (left) and Joe Root have starred for England (Mike Egerton/PA)

England have produced four remarkable Test victories since the start of the international summer, with a series whitewash over New Zealand and a record-breaking chase against India at Edgbaston.

Two men have been front and centre during that sequence, with Yorkshire pair Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow responsible for seven centuries between them.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the performances of the in-form pair.

Jonny Bairstow (4 centuries, 614 runs, 102.33 average)

136 – 2nd Test v New Zealand

England v New Zealand – Second LV= Insurance Test Series Match – Day Five – Trent Bridge
Bairstow made 136 runs in the first Test against New Zealand (Mike Egerton/PA)

Came to the crease in the second innings on the back of three low scores, with England 56 for three chasing 299. He proceeded to reel off the second-fastest Test hundred by an Englishman, off 77 balls, to leave the Kiwi bowlers down and out at a rapturous Trent Bridge.

162 – 3rd Test v New Zealand

England v New Zealand – Third LV= Insurance Test Series Match – Day Five – Emerald Headingley Stadium
Bairstow played a major part in England claiming the LV= Insurance Test Series (Mike Egerton/PA)

Another sticky situation on home turf at Headingley, as Bairstow strode out at 17 for three in the first innings and picked up exactly where he had left off. He pounded out 24 boundaries as he scored at better than a run-a-ball. Also played beautifully for 71no in the run chase.

106 and 114no – 5th Test v India

Unbelievably raised his bar yet again as he helped England claim a slice of history in the delayed series decider at Edgbaston. He held up a faltering first innings with another backs-to-the-wall effort that showed his steel and then took a record run chase by the horns. He and Root made the uncharted territory of 378 seem like light work as they knocked the stuffing out of India with a stand of 269.

Joe Root (3 centuries, 569 runs, 113.80 average)

115no – 1st Test v New Zealand

Immediately put to bed any questions about how he might settle in the ranks after giving up the captaincy by picking the perfect moment for his first fourth innings hundred. His brilliantly measured knock at Lord’s set the tone for the quartet of classic pursuits and ticking off 10,000 Test runs along the way.

176 – 2nd Test v New Zealand

England v New Zealand – Second LV= Insurance Test Series Match – Day Three – Trent Bridge
Root celebrates reaching a century during day three of the second Test (Mike Egerton/PA)

England were up against it after watching the Black Caps score 553 over the course of 146 draining overs. But thanks to Root’s ability to tune out distractions and bat deep, they produced a similarly huge total to stay alive in a game they went on to steal in thrilling fashion. He brought out his new party piece – a pre-meditated reverse scoop for six – for the first time to thrill the Nottingham faithful.

142no – 5th Test v India

Chasing a target bigger than any other England team had ever managed, Root ran out Alex Lees to complete a mini-collapse that saw India take three wickets for two runs. He made amends and then some, coming together with Bairstow to turn the tourists’ rampant enthusiasm into abject resignation. The pair took England all the way from 109 for three to the new record mark of 378 and barely put a foot wrong en route. “Strong Yorkshire, strong England,” he said at the close, echoing a favourite White Rose phrase.