The 32-year-old, who was unbeaten on a sedate 43 heading into the last session of the game, came out all guns blazing, tearing into the Kiwi bowlers. He eventually got out for 136 off 92 balls, with England on the cusp of victory as the hosts scaled down a stiff 299-run target in exactly 50 overs.
The Kiwis looked to be on the ascendancy when they reduced England to 93-4, with first-innings centurion Joe Root back in the pavilion for 3. However, Bairstow and new captain Ben Stokes (75* off 70) featured in an incredible 179-run stand for the fifth wicket as the Kiwi bowlers were rendered helpless.
Speaking after winning the 'Player of the Match' award, Bairstow said, albeit light-heartedly:
“I had a cheese and ham toastie (during the tea break).”
He added that England approached the chase of 299 against New Zealand on Day 5 at Trent Bridge as if it were a one-day game. Bairstow explained:
"We saw it as a one-day game. The pitch was very good, and the outfield was very fast.”
He added about England’s overall mindset:
“The positive approach, and the brand of cricket we're looking to play, and I tell you what, days like this are very exciting. If this is happening now, let's see what will happen in the next few months. Wow, it's going to be a journey.”
Bairstow struck 14 fours and seven sixes after coming on when the Test was hanging in the balance. Explaining his aggressive approach, the right-hander said:
“'It was great fun to be out there. Just one of those things, when you get in that kind of mood, you just got to go with it.”
Bairstow narrowly missed out notching up England’s fastest-ever Test hundred. The record stands in the name of Gilbert Jessop, who slammed a 76-ball century in 1902 against Australia; Bairstow reached his century off 77 deliveries on Tuesday.
“We're going to come even harder” - England captain Ben Stokes after Trent Bridge triumph
England captain Ben Stokes has asserted that his team will look to push hard for a victory at Headingley, despite clinching the series by winning the second Test. Speaking after the thrilling win at Trent Bridge, Stokes said:
“We're going to come even harder (at Headingley). That's our mindset at the moment.”
Reflecting on the five-wicket win on Tuesday, the all-rounder gave credit to the team, saying everyone played a part:
“Can't take too much credit for that, to be honest," said Stokes. "Run into the danger, rather than back away and stand still. That's what we did there. Everyone put their hands up at different stages; everyone's contributed to this win.”
The third Test of the series begins at Headingley on Thursday, June 23.