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Jonny Bairstow praises "unbelievable" bats after superb century against Pakistan

Bairstow’s blades - from the Gray-Nicolls Classics range - brought him 445 runs in the Indian Premier League at an average of more than 55 earlier this year, and the Yorkshireman has brought that form into the ongoing ODI series against Pakistan

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Jonny Bairstow is praying the small selection of bats which have served him so well in recent weeks can survive through the World Cup after he was forced to make running repairs during his excellent century at Bristol.

Bairstow’s blades - from the Gray-Nicolls Classics range - brought him 445 runs in the Indian Premier League at an average of more than 55 earlier this year, and the Yorkshireman has brought that form into the ongoing ODI series against Pakistan.

A bullish half-century in England's second meeting with their guests in Southampton was followed by an exhibition of legside batsmanship at the County Ground on Tuesday, as the opener bludgeoned his seventh 50-over ton for his country.

He was required to call on assistance from the 12th man on three occasions during his time at the wicket, however, sending two bats off to be taped up in an attempt to keep them in active service.

“They’re still hanging on,” he told the media afterwards.

“I sent them off to get tape around them because I’m trying to preserve them. They’re my favourites. They‘re unbelievable bats, I used them all the way through in India.

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Jonny Bairstow made a century for England in Bristol

“I just hope I can get some binding around them and keep them together.”

Bairstow was furious at himself when eventually he did depart for 128, bowled off the inside edge by Junaid Khan at the end of a 93-ball stay.

“I was cross because you want to be seeing that through, getting 160/170 or potentially 200 and seeing your team through,” he said.

“If we’re having competition to try to get the 150s,160s, 170s and beyond, that’s a good place to be.

PLAYER RATINGS: England v Pakistan 3rd ODI

“I felt I was seeing the ball well, striking the ball well and it shows how much I want to do well for this side.”

That England surpassed a target of 359 - the fifth highest in all ODI cricket - without their premier batsman Jos Buttler and with captain Eoin Morgan arriving at the crease at No.6 shows just why they go into the World Cup as the hot favourites.

Despite that tag, Bairstow is adamant the camp remains cool ahead of the tournament.

“I don’t think we’ve put any pressure on ourselves. The external pressure will be there no matter what, all the way though,” he said.

“There’s a lot of cricket still to go.”

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