Jonny Bairstow has entertained us with his insightful behind-the-scene diary blogs during the Test series and, in his last instalment, the Yorkshireman has revealed his top-three moments on, and off, the field during the past few weeks.
The wicketkeeper-batsman will remain on with the limited-overs team – for five one-day internationals and two Twenty20s – but he will hand over his place in front of the camera to hard-hitting opener Jason Roy.
“I can’t wait for the next few weeks to get underway and hopefully I’ll keep you entertained,” said Roy.
He’ll have some big shoes to fill and hopefully Roy will be able to enjoy highs similar to Bairstow’s best moments on tour so far:
By his own admission this selection was a bit of a self-indulgence but you could hardly blame Bairstow after he posted an emotional maiden Test century during the drawn second Test at Cape Town.
There are few finer backdrops in world cricket to reach the landmark and the wicketkeeper-batsmen’s celebrations were made even more poignant as his mother, Janet, and sister, Becky, watched on in the crowd almost four years after he made his Test debut.
The sight of Stuart Broad tearing through opposition batsmen in quick bursts has been a hallmark of the Nottinghamshire seamers career and, just like in the summer when he rolled through Australia, this burst was the decisive moment in the series.
Broad claimed five for one during 31 balls of devastation and even that one run he did concede was form a dropped catch.
It was the seventh time in Tests that broad has taken five wickets in a spell and for Bairstow it represented the second time he could celebrate an away series triumph after he played a single Test in the history-making triumph against India at the backend of 2012.
Bairstow had the best seat in the house when Ben Stokes pulverised his way into the record books with the fastest Test double-century by and England batsman.
Stokes was at his belligerent best and no South African bowlers was safe from the carnage as he broke Sir Ian Botham’s record Englanfd mark and fell just 10 balls short of beating the world record, set by New Zealand’s Nathan Astle. Coincidentally Astle’s innings came against England at Christchuch – Stokes’ city of birth.
Bairstow was an able accomplice to the damage – on way to that maiden Test century – as the pair secured a world-record sixth-wicket stand of 399 runs.