England’s Jonny Bairstow completed his fourth Test century on the second morning of the third Magellan Ashes Test in Perth and celebrated by kissing the badge on his helmet, then headbutting it.
Bairstow, whose maiden Ashes century came off 185 balls, was at the centre of controversy in the first Test when details surfaced of him headbutting Australia opener Cameron Bancroft in a Perth nightclub on the evening the tourists arrived on these shores.
Both Bairstow and Bancroft played down the incident – the Australian did so at one of the all-time great press conferences – but it was one in a series of distracting indiscretions by the England touring party.
But over the course of two days at the WACA Ground, Bairstow put that drama behind him and celebrated in hilarious fashion by connecting head to helmet after he reached triple figures that left his adoring teammates on the away team dressing room balcony in stitches.
It’s been a tough tour for the Yorkshireman and his England side but the 28-year-old has a grounded perspective on life and the privilege of playing international cricket.
“You can look back on each individual's life and there'll be periods where people will have to move on from,” Bairstow told reporters ahead of the third Magellan Ashes Test.
“We're very fortunate to play the game of cricket as a job and for a living.
“It's a great thing to do, we get to see some amazing parts of the world, come to some amazing countries and go back with memories and experiences of doing so.”
Bairstow combined with No.5 Dawid Malan to post England’s highest total ever fifth-wicket stand against Australia, a partnership worth 225 at the time of writing.
The stand eclipsed the 79-year record held by Denis Compton and Eddie Paynter, who put on 206 in Nottingham in 1938.
2017-18 International Fixtures
Magellan Ashes Series
Australia Test squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird.
England Test squad: Joe Root (c), James Anderson (vc), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.
First Test Australia won by 10 wickets. Scorecard
Second Test Australia won by 120 runs (Day-Night). Scorecard
Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Tickets
Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Tickets
Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Tickets
Gillette ODI Series v England
First ODI MCG, January 14. Tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets
Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets
Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets
Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets
Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets
Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14
Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21