England's Jonny Bairstow tells Sky Sports he is still learning as ODI opener
Bairstow discusses his technique and mind-set while batting against the white ball
By Sky Sports Cricket
Last Updated: 17/04/18 8:36pm
Jonny Bairstow has told Sky Sports Cricket he is still learning as a one-day opener, despite averaging almost 62 from the position.
Bairstow has batted in the top two in his last 16 one-day internationals for England, scoring four hundreds - including two in successive innings against New Zealand in March - having come in between three and six in his first 26 ODI appearances for his country.
The Yorkshireman, speaking during a stint as an IPL pundit for Sky Sports, told Matt Floyd that batting against the second new ball in Test matches, where he usually operates at No 7, has prepared him well for setting the tone in the shorter format.
"[Opening] is not something I have done a huge amount of so it is still a case of learning on the job but the way I have had to think about it is almost like the second new ball in Test cricket," said Bairstow, as he discussed his white-ball batting. Watch the video in full at the top of the page.
"Early on, the ball is going to swing - you have to assess conditions and the pitch. So if you are able to play good cricket shots, that is a good base from which to play your other shots."
Bairstow smashed a 58-ball hundred against New Zealand in Christchurch last month, moving from 50 to 100 in just 20 deliveries as he clubbed the third-quickest ton by an Englishman, only bettered by Jos Buttler's 46-ball effort against Pakistan and Moeen Ali's 53-ball century against Windies.
The 28-year-old's pyrotechnics - which saw England knock off New Zealand's 223 all out in 32.4 overs to win the series 3-2 - came just three days after he had struck 138 from 106 deliveries when the visitors batted first in Dunedin.
Reflecting on his knock in Christchurch, which came during an opening stand of 155 with Alex Hales, Bairstow added: "Early on, I was 21 off 24 balls or something like that.
"It wasn't a case of from ball one that it was crash, bang, wallop. We finished off at a very good rate but it was from a platform of good cricket shots."
Bairstow went unsold during the IPL auction but a host of his team-mates were signed including Rajasthan Royals pair Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler and Chennai Super Kings' Sam Billings.
"It was a long winter away but, naturally, having been in the auction, it is disappointing not to be involved and testing yourself," he added. "It's renowned for being one of the best T20 comps.
"The experiences our players are gaining from being over there, playing against the best players in conditions that are pretty tough, can only be a good thing for English cricket.
"It would be fantastic if we could get that sort of atmosphere [in the new T20 competition in England]. It's all about the spectacle and they do it really well in the Big Bash and the IPL."
Watch the video above to see Bairstow's chat in full, in which he discusses his different stances in red and white-ball cricket, where he would like to bat in Test matches, and what his mind-set was last May when he had to help England rebuild from 20-6 in an ODI against South Africa!