After blitzing 136 runs off 92 balls on the final day of the second Test against New Zealand to swing the game in England’s favour and earn himself the player of the match award, Jonny Bairstow defended his decision to play in the Indian Premier League rather than the early stages of the County Championship.
The 32-year-old player was offered the opportunity to play for Yorkshire in County cricket, but he chose to compete in the Indian domestic T20 tournament instead. Bairstow believes that the IPL provides players with the opportunity to play against some of the best players in the world.
“At the IPL, you play against the best. Many told me I shouldn’t be at the IPL and play county cricket instead. We’re very fortunate to be able to play in some of the best competitions against the best players in the world,” Bairstow stated via The Guardian.
“Decisions are decisions and if I could say what I wanted to then… never mind. But there are elements to it where you are playing against the best in the world at the IPL. Being able to have those gears, to be able to go and switch them up, switch them down, is important,” Bairstow further added.
Following his stay with Punjab Kings in the IPL, Bairstow returned to England on May 23, leaving him just 10 days to readapt to red-ball cricket and prepare for the start of the Test summer. He then went on to score one and 16 in the first two innings of the first Test at Lord’s, and eight in the first innings of the second, before exploding into form in the final two sessions of a thrilling Test at Trent Bridge.