England player ratings: Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root earn top marks after England’s second Test win at Trent Bridge

We rate the performances of England’s series contingent after their impressive five-wicket victory over New Zealand at Trent Bridge; watch the first day of the third test on Sky Sports Cricket from 10am on Thursday 23 June

England secured an impressive series victory over reigning World Test champions New Zealand thanks to a thrilling win in the second Test at Trent Bridge, but who were the star performers and who fought to make their mark?

Alex Lees – 7
67 and 44

Although Jonny Bairstow stole the headlines on day five, and Ollie Pope and Joe Root scored excellent first innings for centuries to begin with, sky sports Michael Atherton put it best when he said, “The clearest example of any player of the impact of change on the management and leadership of this team is Alex Lees.”

“Completely transformed in his approach,” he added. And it’s hard to argue. Lees, who was scratchy in his debut series in the Caribbean, had shown the briefest glimpse of his talent with a flowing 20 in the second inning at Lord’s, but that was mere entertainment for the entrée he served at Trent. . Bridge with scores of 67 – her maiden test fifty – and 44.

The second of those strikes saw Lees set the tone for England’s remarkable chase when, on the first two balls of the innings, he deliciously drove fours in a row through the decks. However, he will criticize himself for not being bigger when the pitch was at its best to hit in the early innings.

Zak Crawley – 4
4 and 0

Four points to represent the four runs Crawley scored in the entire Test, as well as the four balls he held in the second inning before falling victim to Trent Boult for the second time.

In truth, they were both good shots, with the one he did for him the first time in particular a real ripper: clipping a scrambled seam, sinking the right for space and driving the lead to the keeper. . The second time, brain scrambled and footwork nonexistent, Crawley shoved the second slide into a duck.

He claimed an upset on the slips to fire Will Young on day one, but also dropped a catch in a test to forget. Another of Headingley’s and you’ll be looking nervously over his shoulder.

ollie daddy – 8
145 and 18

A Test century doesn’t make a career, as Pope was kindly reminded by the New Zealand fielders as he walked into the box in the second inning, but his excellent 145 in the first has gone a long way in cementing his future in the Test. England.

His hundred may not have been as destructive as Bairstow’s, or as flashy as Root, with whom he shared a 187-run partnership for the third wicket, but he displayed precisely the kind of touch, timing and technique that won over Root. England to stay with him during his barren spell and made Stokes so adamant that he wanted him by his side, at number 3.

Celebrating his 25th Test for England but playing in his 69th first-class match, in a strange statistical quirk Pope’s century was his first north of the River Thames, with nine of his 14 career centuries scored for Surrey in The Oval and its only other Test Ton coming in South Africa.

Joe Root – 9
176 and 3

The fact that Root can miss two catches, score just three in the second inning, and yet yet coming out with a rating of nine speaks precisely to how dominant his first 176 inning was.

Fresh off their effort to win a match at Lord’s last week, Root’s ton – their 27th in Test Cricket, fourth in their last five matches and fastest ever – came out with 116 balls, beating their previous best mark of 118 deliveries against Australia in the 2015 Ashes at Cardiff, and contained a massive 26 bounds and a sensational inverted six over the third man on the fourth morning.

For once, Root couldn’t be trusted to chase down the run, clipping a leading edge to Boult’s fourth ball, but it’s fair to wonder if an England batsman has ever been in better contact. On the evidence of his exploits not only in the last two weeks, but also in the last 18 months in which he has harvested 10 tons of proof under the most difficult of circumstances, you would have to say no.

Jonny Bairstow – 9
8 and 136

How quickly this game can change. Literally.

Until around 3 pm on Tuesday afternoon, Bairstow’s rating was probably around half of his final score. But what happened on Trent Bridge over the next two hours was truly extraordinary.

Having apparently replenished with ‘ham and cheese toast’ at tea time, Bairstow launched an astonishing assault on the New Zealand attack after the interval, propelling England from 139-4 – the game was still in play – to their winning goal of 299 just 16 overs later.

Bairstow hit seven sixes, all in the evening session, along with 10 of his bounding 14, as he briefly threatened to break Gilbert Jessop’s 120-year-old record for the fastest Test century for England. Ultimately, he would reach his ninth test ton at a ball of that mark, and he did so in just 77 deliveries.

It was also Bairstow’s third hundred in his last six Tests, but before his sensational match-winning strike he was perhaps most vulnerable to the looming presence of 2022 domestic runner Harry Brook, waiting in the wings for his first Test cap.

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