Bairstow: My centuries have proved a point
Wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow believes he has proved a point to his critics after being named man-of-the-series in England's Tests against Sri Lanka.
Rain during the third Test denied England the opportunity of completing a whitewash, Sri Lanka reaching 78-1 in pursuit of 362 before stumps were drawn at Lord's on Monday.
Bairstow was named man of the match, in addition to claiming the series award, after striking 167 not out in England's first innings, his third century in six Tests.
Having previously struggled to nail down a place in Alastair Cook's five-day side, the 26-year-old is now his country's in-form batsman.
"It's never nice being dropped, but that really spurred me on to try and get back in the side and to prove a point," said Bairstow.
"The people that say you aren't good enough, you want to show them that actually you are. I think I did that in the series in South Africa and now here.
"I went away and learned more about myself so that when I did come back into the team, I could contribute in every way possible.
"To try and hit the ground running at the start of the season was the aim, so I'm really pleased to back up the form I've shown for Yorkshire in an England shirt."
Bairstow, who has been included in England's ODI and T20 squads for the upcoming matches against Sri Lanka, feels he can still improve his wicketkeeping.
"It's a pleasure to keep to Jimmy [Anderson] and Broady [Stuart Broad]," said Bairstow. "They show skills all the time, whether the pitch is seaming around or it's a flat one.
"I was disappointed to drop a couple, but also to get 19 catches in the series was really pleasing. Moving forward, the hard work continues as always."