Former England captain Nasser Hussain lavished praise on Jonny Bairstow and Jamie Overton for launching a stunning counter-attack on Day 2 of the second Test against New Zealand at Headingley. Hussain also felt the duo set an example for the top-order batters.
Bairstow and Overton finished day two with an unbeaten stand of 209 in 37.1 overs, scoring at a breezy 5.62 runs per over. The duo joined hands when England were faltering at 55-6, with none of the top four making it to double figures. By the end of day's play, England only trailed by 64 runs to the Kiwis' first-innings score.
In his column for the Daily Mail, Hussain lauded the pair's explosive partnership and believes it's what the coach and captain would have wanted from the team. He observed that the duo launched a calculative counter-attack, stating:
"That was a quite superb counter-attack from Jonny Bairstow and Jamie Overton. It was an excellent example of the kind of thing Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes want from this Test team. It's not all about blazing away when the odds are against you. It's about working out when is the right time to attack.
"Bairstow and Overton, who showed real nous on his Test debut, timed it to perfection. And it may be the kind of performance the top order can learn from, because you have to get that balance right."
Bairstow, who earned the 'Player of the Match' award in the second Test, reached his ton only off 95 balls. Trent Boult and Tim Southee wreaked havoc on the hosts' top order, with the former picking up three wickets.
"There's no one way of batting in Test cricket" - Nasser Hussain
The 54-year-old also opined that there exists no blueprint for batting in Test cricket and it's all about adaptation. Hussain added:
"What the second day's play confirmed for me was there's no one way of batting in Test cricket - which is what differentiates the format from the white-ball versions of the game. When Bairstow went berserk at Trent Bridge, he'd given himself a platform before tea. You adapt to what's in front of you."
New Zealand started their day at 225-5, with Tom Blundell and Daryl Mitchell at the crease. While Blundell departed for 55, Mitchell went on to reach three figures and ultimately perished for 109. Southee played a 29-ball 33 to propel the visitors to 325.