Jonny Bairstow's England debut against India stuns Cook
|Fifth one-day international, Cardiff:|
|England 241-4 (32.2 overs) beat India 304-4 (50 overs) by six wickets Duckworth/Lewis method|
Alastair Cook believes England have found a real player for the future after debutant Jonny Bairstow hit 41 from 21 balls to help win the fifth one-day international against India.
Bairstow, who was only called into the squad on Thursday, turned the game after arriving at the crease with England needing 75 from 50 balls.
"I've never seen an entrance into internationals like it," Cook said.
"To go out without fear and play with such skill. We might have found one."
And Cook admitted it was hard not to get excited as the 21-year-old instantly set about the Indian bowling, hitting three sixes in his brief innings.
"Jonny has made a name for himself," added Cook.
"It's hard not to get too carried away but that was an unbelievable knock. I can't praise that enough."
Bairstow, however, refused to get drawn on his future involvement despite most pundits immediately suggesting that in the space of little more than half an hour he had played himself into the squad to face India in return ODIs this winter.
"It's obviously a fantastic start but it was only my first game and hopefully I will go on from here and get another chance," the Yorkshire player said.
"We are in a good place at the moment."
And Bairstow, whose father David played for England but committed suicide in 1997, added: "I'm sure my dad would have enjoyed it today and I'm sure he's up there looking down with pride."
Despite Bairstow's measured response to his innings, Geoff Boycott hinted on Test Match Special that the player could now be a key player in the middle order for England, especially with his ability to hit sixes, something England have struggled to do at times, adding "he is a proper batsman and can hit the ball further than anyone at Yorkshire".
At the end of the match, Bairstow was warmly congratulated by Rahul Dravid, who made 69 in his 344th and final ODI, neatly mirroring the handshakes the India great had received at the culmination of his own innings.
And for one-day captain Cook, Bairstow's arrival simply adds to the impression that England are a side on the up, following their 4-0 Test win with a 3-0 triumph in the one-dayers.
"To stay unbeaten in this one-day series is a huge credit to our side and a fantastic effort from the lads," said Cook.
"It's all about developing young players and giving them a chance, there are really encouraging signs for the future."
The Test series victory saw England ascend to the number one ranking in the world, but Cook admitted there is a long way to go to repeat the feat in the one-day format.
"It's the start of a journey but we know how hungry the lads are," he added.
"It could have been easy after a few days off, we've already won the series, but to come and chase down that target is very satisfying."