Morgan hails ‘incredible’ Bairstow

Bairstow, who was only called into the England squad 24 hours ago in place of the injured Jos Buttler, helped England recover from a disastrous 45 for five to reach their target of of 192 to win by the Duckworth-Lewis method with an over to spare.

New Zealand had earlier reached 283 for nine and looked to be on their way to clinching the one-day series 3-2 as England’s openers crumbled, but Bairstow had other ideas and made sure it was the hosts who edged it.

“Names throughout the side have put their hands up on different days and Jonny Bairstow was no different today, he was incredible and on what was probably our worst batting display of the series he stuck his hand up and won us the game,” Morgan said on Sky Sports 2.

The captain admitted he has been taken aback somewhat by the swiftness of England’s transformation from World Cup also-rans to winning this series, but he believes the change will be a permanent one.

“Everything that’s happened in this series is stuff we’ve strived for over the last couple of years and it hasn’t quite happened,” he added.

“But with this group of players it’s certainly turned things around, with the attitude, the skill level being particularly high against a quality side like New Zealand.”

He is also hopeful England can carry this through into the Ashes series, saying: “I think there is a great feel-good factor going around cricket at the moment and it started with the Test series against New Zealand, which was very competitive, although it finished a draw it regained things.

“Let’s hope going into the Ashes we can maintain that support throughout the summer and it makes a contribution to the result.”

Bairstow paid tribute to the man he replaced, saying: “Obviously really disappointed for Jos, with the form that he was in, but obviously delighted to have got the call and to make a contribution is fantastic.”

He also revealed that it has been a tough time for him personally recently with the passing of his grandfather and he dedicated his stellar 60-ball 83 to him.

“To come back and score the runs that I have for Yorkshire has been important through a pretty tough time family wise because my grandpa passed away so that wasn’t great and to do this, this one’s for him,” he added.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was magnanimous in defeat, calling the series “sensational” as a whole.

He said: “Some of the cricket we’ve seen over the last five games is nothing short of sensational. I think both teams played their part in that .

“Credit to England for holding their nerve today when the series was on the line and there is some exciting talent there amongst their group and they’re going to be a tough team over the next few years.”

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