England v Sri Lanka: Jonny Bairstow 'proved people wrong' with bat

England's Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow has scored three centuries and a double hundred in first-class cricket this season

England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow said he proved his doubters wrong, after being named man of the series in the 2-0 win over Sri Lanka.

The third Test at Lord's was drawn as rain allowed only 12.2 overs to be bowled on the final day.

Bairstow averaged 26 in his first 20 Tests and 93 in his past seven, in South Africa and against Sri Lanka.

"I felt I had a few people to prove wrong," he said. "This series and in South Africa, I think I've done that."

Bairstow hit 140 in the first Test at Headingley and 167 not out at Lord's, ending the series with 387 runs at an average of 129.

He has also scored 246 and 198 for Yorkshire in the County Championship this season.

Asked to explain his exceptional form, Bairstow told BBC Test Match Special: "I don't want to think about it because as soon as you start thinking about things it clutters your brain."

Bairstow made a rapid unbeaten 150 against South Africa in the second Test at Cape Town in January, sharing a remarkable 399-run stand with Ben Stokes.

"The confidence he obviously got from that hundred in South Africa, his batting has gone through the roof," said captain Alastair Cook.

"He's the type of character you want in your side because he's so determined, with that fiery red in him."

Although Bairstow claimed 19 catches - an England record for a three-Test series - he dropped three and missed a stumping.

He said: "A couple went down - I'm well aware of that - and I'll continue to work really hard on that aspect of my game.

"I've probably worked harder on my keeping than my batting since coming back from South Africa."

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew
"Jonny Bairstow was quite incredible with the bat, but the mistakes he made with the wicketkeeping gloves are a concern. This winter, with two Tests in Bangladesh and five in India, will be a supreme challenge for a wicketkeeper, spending long hours standing up to the stumps for the spin bowlers."
Read more from Aggers

While coach Trevor Bayliss praised Bairstow's "absolutely fantastic" form with the bat, he said England have "got some work to do".

They have lost their first four wickets for fewer than 100 runs five times in the past seven innings, while Nick Compton and James Vince managed only 109 runs in a combined nine innings against Sri Lanka at numbers three and five respectively.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews, meanwhile, said it was a "massive learning curve" for his team following heavy defeats at Headingley and Chester-le-Street.

"It was a bit tough but no excuses. The English team outplayed us," said Mathews, whose side won 1-0 on their previous tour of England in 2014.

Sri Lanka play Ireland in one-day internationals in Dublin on 16 and 18 June, before starting a five-match one-day series against England at Trent Bridge on 21 June.

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