Bairstow expects interesting second day on 'difficult' pitch in Antigua

After England faced a stern test on a lively Antigua wicket, Jonny Bairstow said: "It's something that is difficult to contend with."

Jonny Bairstow celebrates his fifty in Antigua.   -  Getty Images

Jonny Bairstow believes day two of the second Test in Antigua will be an "interesting" one as England seek to hit back with quick wickets on a lively pitch.

The tourist could only muster 187 all out after being inserted on day one, but that score did not appear too far below par given the challenges posed by a surface offering variable bounce and appreciable seam movement.

A superb, counter-attacking 52 from Bairstow was extremely valuable for England, while Moeen Ali (60) and Ben Foakes (35) were responsible for the only partnership of note as they shared 85 for the seventh wicket.

"It was tough – that was pretty evident," Bairstow told Sky Sports.

"We could see on multiple occasions the variable bounce that we had to contend with. They put the ball in some good areas and made us make decisions on a pitch that was probably bowler-friendly, especially in the first couple of sessions.

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"If you look at the pitch there are two different grass types on it, where the balls were bouncing from. There are a few variables with that but we've got to counteract them.

"I don't think you felt 'in' because there was always going to be a ball in there that might bounce or keep low, especially when they've got guys who are coming in at well over six foot. I think it's something that is difficult to contend with when there is variable bounce in the pitch."

Windies openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell were largely watchful in reply as they batted out 21 overs to reach 30 without loss, leaving England in need of urgent breakthroughs on Friday. "Tomorrow's going to an interesting day - it's an exciting day for us because I thought we bowled really well tonight," said Bairstow, who took the wicket-keeping gloves for the hosts' first innings after Foakes suffered bruising to his right hand.

"It's like riding a bike in many ways, you've just got to catch a few and then you are straight back into the rhythms," added England's number three, who has repeatedly expressed his desire to keep wicket.

"The first few with the wind from the far end seemed to hover and wobble, and we had a bit of a joke - you've got to enjoy it and hopefully Foakesy is okay for tomorrow."