England roared back in the three-match ODI series against India. Jonny Bairstow's (124 off 112 balls) epic 175-run partnership for the second wicket with Ben Stokes (99 off 52 balls) made a mockery of the hosts' 337-run target in the second ODI.
Such was the destruction caused by Bairstow and Stokes during the 113 balls they batted together that even after losing a flurry of wickets at the end, the visitors strolled to a comfortable 6-wicket win with 39 balls left to spare.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, man of the match Bairstow said he enjoys batting with the left-handed Stokes as bowlers find it difficult to adjust their lines to the left-right combo.
"I think bowlers don't like to bowl at us. You can make the obvious comparisons of being right-handed and left-handed because all of a sudden, if there's a left arm orthodox bowler turning into Ben then you'd give him the strike because you know how destructive he can be and vice versa. So I think we complement each other well."
England hit a record 20 sixes during the second ODI, with 17 of those coming from the blade of Jonny Bairstow and Stokes.
The duo's carnage was not all about power either as they made sure to attack the bowlers according to the angle of their deliveries. Case in point being that all ten sixes bludgeoned by Ben Stokes came against the hapless left-arm spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya.
"Obviously Ben being a left-hander and scoring in slighly different areas, if we're making the bowlers think as to where they need to deliver the ball, then it's a good place to be", added Jonny Bairstow.
Ben Stokes would have been kicking himself if he had gotten run-out like that: Jonny Bairstow
Even as the partnership between Jonny Bairstow and Stokes took the game away from India, things could have been much different if a contentious run-out decision hadn't been given in the latter's favor.
The controversial incident occurred in the 26th over when Stokes, who was batting on 31 at that point of time, nudged a ball from Bhuvneshwar Kumar towards and ambled back for the second.
While returning to the crease, Ben Stokes dragged in his bat lazily even as Kuldeep Yadav's flat throw disturbed the stumps.
Though replays seemed to indicate that the bails were dislodged before Stokes could drag his bat inside, it took a few more frames for the them to light up. After a bit of delibiration, TV umpire Anil Chaudary decided to rule Ben Stokes not out due to lack of clear evidence to the contrary.
Speaking about Stokes' lucky reprieve, Jonny Bairstow said the allrounder would have been kicking himself had he been run-out in such silly fashion.
"On the big screen, you cant get the zoomed in version. I'm sure there was a bit of bat behind the line. However, if he was out in that moment, my gosh he would have been kicking himself. I mean to potentially get run-out like that when he was playing so well was interesting shall we say. and im not sure they are the exact words that would have been used", finished Jonny Bairstow.