Who celebrates hundreds more angrily – Jonny Bairstow or Virat Kohli?

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Bairstow celebrates (all images via Sky Sports)

When Jonny Bairstow made his first test ton, he celebrated in such a way that no-one was left in any doubt that this was the Test hundred that his late father, David, never made.

If you know the story of Jonny and David Bairstow – and an article like this one is honestly no place to go into it – then you’ll understand that it was a very, very, very emotional thing.

We assumed that was a one-off – a unique moment that Bairstow’s whole life had built up to – but when he made sixth Test hundred, against Sri Lanka, it was again a very, very, very emotional thing.

It’s pretty clear that the moment meant a lot to the Yorkshireman. He’d been left out of the side for the previous Test and had also lost the wicketkeeping gloves.

It was kind of like he was making a point to his detractors, although we’d like to highlight two things:

  1. You could argue that he was inspired by being dropped, so England should probably drop him again in the future
  2. He’s still not wicketkeeper, so maybe he should continue not being wicketkeeper

Bairstow did prove one thing though: he proved that he is a very angry celebrator.

Now, as we all know, Virat Kohli sets the benchmark for angry celebrations. He can even celebrate angrily from the sidelines.

So who is the angrier celebrator of hundreds? Let’s take a look and let’s give them a score out of 100 as well so that it looks like science.

Jonny Bairstow’s hundred celebration

Bairstow moves swiftly and decisively to anger even before completing the run that secures his hundred.

Thank God that helmet grill’s there to protect us all from his gnashing teeth.

With the hundred secured, Bairstow removes the helmet and unleashes the full bestial roar.

This is very impressive and wholehearted. What you can’t see in a still photo is that his head was actually vibrating at this point.

Have you ever been so angry that your head vibrated? We have not and we’d hazard that the scoring of a Test hundred probably wouldn’t make us angry enough that this would happen.

Post-scream, Bairstow’s anger persists and he delivers ‘a look’.

Measured on the “imagine this bloke is walking directly towards you in a pub” scale, this look scores precisely one million – which is the maximum amount.

But then, after that, there’s just the very, very faintest note of vulnerability.

Bairstow’s mouth is still very, very angry at this point but look at the eyes as the tension ebbs away from his brow. There’s something else there. We’re not sure what it is, but it’s something. Maybe tiredness, maybe self-awareness, maybe even very slight tearfulness.

We’re not sure what it is, but in revealing this Bairstow has betrayed the fact that he was not quite feeling 100 per cent anger.

Jonny Bairstow’s angry celebration score: 99/100

Virat Kohli’s hundred celebration

When Virat Kohli scored a very good hundred against England at Lord’s, this is what he did to “celebrate”.

That, to us, would appear to be an extremely angry reaction indeed.

Shortly after this, he did some smiling and you’ll say, ‘hey, you looked at Jonny Bairstow’s reaction over a longer timespan – why aren’t you doing the same for Kohli?’

To that, we would answer: we don’t need to.

Look at Kohli’s face. Look, in particular, at how he’s hidden the ends of his eyebrows somewhere inside the bridge of his nose. Now scroll up and look at the angriest of the Bairstow pics again and tell us he doesn’t now look like a guy who’s trapped his foreskin in his fly.

Virat Kohli has just redefined your understanding of anger.

While relatively brief in comparison, Virat Kohli’s hundred celebration is nevertheless borne of pure, undilute, anger.

Virat Kohli’s angry hundred celebration score: 100/100

Virat Kohli celebrates hundreds slightly more angrily.


  1. I’m going to call you out on one thing – if you watch the full Sky clip of Bairstow celebrating, he looks like he is calming down but then throws his bat for no real reason whatsoever (which I’m surprised hasn’t really been picked up on). He then bellows once more for luck with no helmet or bat, which isn’t picked up by video cameras and just looks plain weird – https://twitter.com/bbctms/status/1065978274784862209

    I’ve never seen Kohli go that far. This isn’t as cut and dry as a whole point separating the two.

    One other thing – is Bairstow going to finally calm down this evening, then realise him scoring runs at 3 while not keeping is going to mean that England are going to keep asking him to do it, and then get really angry again?

    1. We meant to include the bat-throwing thing (it’s not quite angry, but is sort of angry) but then either (a) had to do some actual work or (b) forgot.

      We’ll leave you to decide which.

  2. This all comes as a great surprise to me. I’ve always looked at Bairstow as the mild mannered cherubic brother of Ian Bell. The kind face that Tolkien was imagining as he penned his descriptions of smiling jerkin-clad magna pede turnips going about their business on Middle-earth.

  3. I still don’t get the non – wicket keeping anger. Butler’s obviously the more natural wicket keeper. Also way more dispensable. It’s only if Butler isn’t playing that Bairstow the wicket keeper comes into the picture. What am I missing? Why does he miss the keeping gloves so much? Not a fun job.

  4. It’s almost like you’ve been reading a book by a cricketing psychoanalyst and some of the insight’s rubbed off on you.

  5. I heard/saw his interview, which many people have described as angry but I might describe it as petulant.

    Is there a benchmark player for petulance as well as a benchmark player for anger (Kohli)? There should be.

    1. Petulant is a good and appropriate word.

      Kohli is petulant in the field. Joe Root is quite petulant. Steve Smith could be quite petulant back when he was playing.

      1. Petulant World XI:


        Not bad.

      2. I asked Daisy who she thought might be the benchmark, or quintessentially petulant player. “Stuart Broad”, she said, which I thought was a good suggestion and showed insight.

        But Daisy then followed up by saying, “or you on the tennis court”, which tells me that Daisy hasn’t got a clue what she’s talking about, either about sport or about the meaning of plain English words.

        Good list, Sam. I note that you also have Broad in the mix.

      3. If “petulant” can mean the ability to lose a test series as captain and then blame the entire debacle on someone you don’t like, I think Alastair Cook deserves a place on the list.

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