Cricket

Bairstow earned his 50th cap at Sydney.

Alastair Cook delivers brilliant speech for Jonny Bairstow's 50th Test cap

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Dramatic late wickets scuppered England's progress on the opening day of the fifth and final Ashes Test match at Sydney.

In a rain affected start to the contest, with play being delayed, England closed on 233-5 after losing Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow late on in the day.

A talking point came when Bairstow went against the option of using a night watchman to bat in his place in order to head out into the middle himself, only to be caught behind by Tim Paine having attempted to play an in-swinger from fast bowler Josh Hazelwood, a wicket that saw him leave the crease having scored just five in one of the final balls of the day.

Australia, of course, have already wrapped up the series 3-0, retaining the urn against a beleaguered English side, however, Joe Root's men avoided the possibility of a second successive whitewash Down Under by drawing the Boxing Day Melbourne Test.

Despite the disappointment of a low score on the field, Bairstow could at least celebrate winning his 50th cap for the Three Lions. 

Before the first day's play got underway at the SCG, Cook performed a rousing speech in the dressing room paying tribute to Bairstow's achievement of earning 50 England Test caps.

Bairstow won his first Test cap against the West Indies in May 2012, and has since become the first-choice wicket-keeper for his country in the process. 

And, the Yorkshireman was the subject of praise during an emotional speech from his former captain, opening batsman Cook. 

Cook said: "It's my privilege to hand over this cap to Jonny.

"It's one of the things I really look forward to as a captain is handing out these caps because the little number on the bottom of it shows how much dedication and hard work it is, not just to play for England but to be successful and play a huge number of games.

"50 caps Jonny is a brilliant achievement, you should be very proud of that, but I think this one could have a one and zero on it as well in four or five years time."

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Topics:
Cricket
The Ashes
Australia cricket
England cricket
Jonny Bairstow

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