Ashwin, Bairstow to mark rare record together in milestone 100th Test

'It will be emotional week for him', says Joe Root ahead of the wicketkeeper-batsman's landmark


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Published: Mon 4 Mar 2024, 7:17 PM

Last updated: Mon 4 Mar 2024, 7:18 PM

India'sRavichandran Ashwin and England's Jonny Bairstow will be playing their 100th Test match together which will mark a rare record in the 147-year history of Test cricket'.

This will be only for the third time in Test cricket history that, two players from opposing teams will be marking their 100th Test appearance in the same game.

India's Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after taking the wicket of England's Ollie Pope earlier in the series. - Reuters
India's Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after taking the wicket of England's Ollie Pope earlier in the series. - Reuters

In 2006, three players - Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock and Stephen Fleming- played their 100th Test in the South Africa vs New Zealand Centurion Test.

England's stalwart batter Joe Root hailed "superstar" Bairstow and stated that it will be an emotional week for the batter as he gears up to feature in 5th Test between India and England in Dharamsala.

Head coach Brendon McCullum confirmed his place in the playing XI although the 34-year-old has been underwhelming in the series as he has amassed just 170 runs in four Test matches.

Ahead of Bairstow's milestone, Root talked about the wicketkeeper batter's personality and the emotional aspect of his upcoming record-breaking moment.

"Jonny was always the superstar. He had the difficult tag of following in his father's footsteps but he always lived up to it. He was someone who always excelled and was top of the class as we were coming through at Yorkshire," Root said on Sky Sports podcast.

"You know how much it means to him to play for England and it will be an emotional week for him. He likes to wear his emotions on his sleeve which I think makes him what he is. It brings the best out of him," he added.

Bairstow has been a pivotal figure for England in all formats due to his explosive batting nature and the versatility that he offers to the team.

The right-handed batter has the potential to play in different positions in the batting line-up as well as play the wicketkeeper's role according to the team's requirements.

"We have had numerous coaches who have wanted to balance the Test side and set up differently. With Jonny, you can play him as a batter, play him as a keeper-batter," Root said.

"He can offer so much and has such a wide range of skillsets that it can be misinterpreted at times what his best strengths are," Root added.

Overall, Bairstow has amassed 5974 in 99 Test appearances at an average of 36.4 and a strike rate of 58.7. He has 12 centuries and 26 fifties to his name as well.

England will face India on Thursday in the final Test of the five-match series at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamshala.

India have an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series following their five-wicket win in Ranchi.

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