Jonny Bairstow has had a rough childhood and rough entry to the world of cricket but since a couple of years, he’s been a revolution in the longest format of the game. Here he is, speaking to the press after the 2nd warm-up game.
Question – Don’t you think you would give Root a difficult decision on Sunday, for you to get in the team?
Bairstow – Look Root is back, if Rooty’s back, Rooty’s playing. I don’t think there’s a decision to be made there, to be honest. As I say, if he’s back, he plays, as simple as that. If that isn’t the case then I think my name’s in the hat. My form, recently in the India Test series was pretty good so I’d like to think I would have an opportunity.
Question – Your timing in your sweeps seems to be coming off nicely and you seem to be reading it nicely. Is it because you’ve been batting out here for a while and a step further on than the rest?
Answer – I don’t know if it’s a step further on obviously during the Test series, playing in these conditions would hopefully naturally help the process. Playing in this Test series was helpful for me personally having been kinda used to the conditions over two and a half months, from Bangladesh to India. So I was pleased with myself. The pitch is alright, obviously different to the other night, held up a bit more, perhaps a bit more two-paced but I thought India A came out and played well. And also, we didn’t help ourselves with the ball and they punished us for that.
Question – Going into the main games, what is the basis you’d like to see yourself being covered? Because in both the games, England suffered a little bit of middle-order collapse, after a quick start by the openers.
Bairstow – Well we’ve scored 300 nearly twice in both games so yeah it needs a little bit refining but not too much. If you’re having a collapse and scoring 300, we would be scoring more without a collapse. We need to look at that. As I say we’ve been during really well and scoring 300 regularly. It’s a good thing that it happened here and not in the next game in Pune, gives us a chance to refocus, it’s a kind of a kick in the back side and off we go next week for the next game.
Question – What about the ground fielding? It’s been a let-off at some times?
Bairstow – Really? Didn’t see that. When I was there, I thought the ground fielding was alright. It’s a fast outfield so it’s pretty hard. When you attack the ball hard, it comes on probably a little more quick.
Jonny, being the number one Test wicket-keeper now and Jos Buttler is No.1 in ODIs and with Sam Billings at your heels, how do you handle this kind of situation?
Bairstow – Look, Jos has been captain in ODIs for a good while now and obviously over the last year, I’ve kept in Tests so it’s something we’re well aware of and we enjoy playing around each other. Whether I’m keeping or Jos is keeping, it’s something that everyone has got used to. When me or Jos gets injured then it’s vice-versa. It’s a pretty simple transition from Tests to ODIs.
Question – Eoin Morgan got a good ball today, how important it is for him to get going?
Bairstow – Look, Morgan is coming off the Big Bash and it’s been just 2 knocks. Don’t think it’s too much of a worry and obviously is looking forward for the first game to pile on some runs.
How do you plan to tackle the Indian spinners in the ODI series?
Bairstow – Completely different from the spinners here! Having faced Ashwin and Jadeja in the Tests, we know that they’ve got some good skills and it’s well documented and you guys are not shy of bragging about their skills either, it’s a great challenge. I’m sure when India come to tour us, they’ve got the white ball swinging and they look at it like a challenge as well. People have played in IPL so got exposure to the conditions as well so there’s no reason to come here and do well.
What do you think about Rishab Pant?
Bairstow – Yeah a very good player and he hits the ball very hard and very long. So yeah, if you miss, he hits.
One last question, what are your thoughts on Virat Kohli as the new ODI captain?
Doesn’t really change much, does it? Whether it’s MS or Virat, we’ve still have got to go and play the same way. Virat has done well with the Test team so I’m sure with his style of captaincy won’t be different than MSD.