Remarkable Bairstow form recognised with ICC Player of the Month award

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Jonny Bairstow has been named as the ICC Player of the Month after run-laden Test outings against New Zealand and India.

The England batter appeared to be feeling the pressure after opening the Test series against New Zealand with scores of one and 16 at Lord's, before managing just eight at Trent Bridge.

However, Bairstow delivered a knock for the ages in the second innings in Nottingham, scoring England's second-fastest Test century – from 77 balls – as the hosts chased 299 with ease.

The 32-year-old finished unbeaten on 136 before he plundered 162 in the following Test at Headingley, having come in at 21-4, and combined in a vital 209-run partnership with debutant Jamie Overton.

Bairstow continued to frustrate New Zealand in the second innings at Leeds, breezing to 71 not out, as England comfortably reached their target of 296 to complete a series whitewash of the Black Caps.

But more fireworks from Bairstow were to follow against India in the rescheduled final Test, with the Yorkshireman crafting 106 – his third century in four innings – to keep England in the first-innings contest.

India subsequently set England 378 to win and Brendon McCullum's side obliged to complete their highest successful chase in five-day cricket, Bairstow finishing unbeaten on 114 alongside Joe Root (142 not out).

That marked a sixth century of 2022 for Bairstow, which is the most by a player while batting at number five or lower in a calendar year and joint-most by an England batter in the same time period (level with Root).

Bairstow's efforts have been recognised by cricket's governing body and he will now eye further success in the upcoming three-Test series at home to South Africa before heading to Pakistan.

"I would like to thank the fans for voting for me as the ICC Men's Player of the Month," he said.

"It has been an incredible five weeks for England. It has been a positive start to our summer with four excellent wins against high-class opposition in New Zealand and India.

"We are enjoying our cricket as a team and playing with clarity and positivity. Even though I have scored four centuries in this period, I would like to acknowledge my team-mates who have been excellent in every department and are playing with immense confidence."

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