England cricketer Jonny Bairstow has given a huge compliment to the Indian Premier League (IPL), saying that the lucrative league had prepared him better for Test cricket than red-ball county cricket.
The 32-year-old Bairstow was the architect of England’s five-wicket win in the Trent Bridge Test, with the right-hand batter smashing a T20-style 136 off 92 deliveries to guide the team to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
He smashed seven maximums and 14 boundaries as England chased down 299 on the final day of the Nottingham Test, scoring at a strike rate of nearly 148.
This season Bairstow, a member of England’s 2019 World Cup-winning squad, was bought by Punjab Kings for Rs 6.75 crore and scored 253 runs in 11 games at a strike rate of 145.
The Yorkshireman said the IPL provided better preparation for his Test cricket.
“There were a lot of people saying I should not be at the IPL and should be playing county cricket,” Bairstow was quoted as saying by Daily Mail after the 32-year-old came within one ball of breaking Gilbert Jessop’s 120-year record for the fastest Test ton by an Englishman.
“But you are playing against the best in the world in the IPL and to have those gears, and being able to switch them up and down, is important,” said Bairstow.
“People say it would be fantastic if you had four games of red-ball cricket under your belt before a Test series but unfortunately that doesn’t happen with current scheduling and we’re very fortunate to be able to play in some of the best competitions around the world.”