Jonny Bairstow has been the near-perfect complement to the flamboyant Australian David Warner at the top of Sunrisers Hyderabad batting line-up in the ongoing Indian Premier League edition.
And, Bairstow is pleased with the partnership, especially after he was involved in a typical 'Ashes rivalry' in the recent past.
On opening with Warner, Bairstow said he was not sure of that at the start of the tournament given the balance and the number of overseas cricketers in the franchise. “But, to be given the nod is pretty pleasing,” he said.
The pair has also been prolific in running between the wickets and Bairstow said, “It is because if you got someone who is quick in the middle, you can register the speed of the ball and can make it (complete the run). This comes over a period of time. Each ground is different and the dimensions but, one thing that stays constant is the 30-yard circle. We both got pretty good cricket shots. With our games, it suited to this game and manipulate bowlers,” he explained.
The England player admitted it is difficult to play in the IPL after playing so much of Test cricket. "I am really happy with the way I started off. We are hoping to finish on a high in the next two games and want to see our team in and around the play-offs before I leave for England after the Chennai game (on April 23),” Bairstow said, in an interaction with select media on the eve of the match against Kolkata Knight Riders in Hyderabad on Saturday.
Read: Sunrisers stars Bhuvneshwar, Vijay raring to perform in the World Cup
Bairstow feels it is not difficult to stay motivated in this format of the game. "This is the competition I really wanted to play as the atmosphere is brilliant. If you can’t motivate to play in front of 40,000 people then you are not in the right job,” he said with a big smile.
On what exactly he shares thoughts with Warner, the Englishman said they assess the conditions, talk about different kind of bowlers, pitches and chasing totals. “We have played a lot of international cricket and put in all those experiences into the middle,” he said.
Bairstow feels that the people are lot harsh on the middle-order of Sunrisers line-up. “We have fantastic players. Davey and I have done fairly good job at the top which didn’t give much time for the middle-order to get the momentum. Like to Williamson who is one of the greatest players in the world. Then you have Yusuf and others who are good who have done well in the past to help the team reach the finals,” he said.
As Sunrisers gears to face Kolkata Knight Riders, Andre Russell is one who would be in focus. A smiling Bairstow felt the West Indian could get out first ball. “You got someone like Rashid who can fancy against him and Sandeep who executes slow balls well. At the same time, he (Russell) is still human. He still gets out for not many. We saw last night they left so much to do for him. We have to execute our skills. We are aware of that,” he said.
Also read: SRH can go all the way, says Shakib
The Sunrisers opener revealed that he would be joining the England squad after the Chennai game on April 23 and will be playing in the one-day series against Pakistan and two warm-up games against Afghanistan before the World Cup.
On England’s chances in the World Cup, the hard-hitting batsman feels there can be lot of upsets given the long round-robin format. “You have West Indies who can win a game from nowhere, got Afghanistan which can bowl 30 to 40 overs quality spin. You don’t know how the pitches will be in England around that time,” he explained.
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