England batter-keeper Jonny Bairstow, who struck an entertaining 41 ball 82 yesterday to seal a series win for England over Ireland, admitted to have set his sights on defending the 2023 World Cup for his country.
The 30-year-old, having scored the joint-quickest 50 by an Englishman in One Day International Cricket, reached the milestone of 3,000 ODI runs in the process.
Bairstow said in an interview to Sky Sports, “I’m really proud of that. It’s been a testing journey at times but to have reached that landmark – and hopefully there’s many more – means a lot now. But we go again – we try and reach 4,000, we try and reach even more than that, as long as you’re contributing to the team and playing the way we have been over the last few years.”
“We’re striving to keep pushing those boundaries forward to 2023. That’s my next bit – I want to be there in 2023 and really pushing and see if we can retain it. I’m enjoying batting at the top of the order and the partnership with Jason (Roy) has gone well. Naturally there’s things I want to work on, that comes with time but at the moment I’m happy with the way I’m striking the ball.”
He added, “I’ve had a bit of a lay-off and to get runs in the warm-up game, then back it up in the ODIs is really pleasing.”
Sky Sports analyst Rob Key stated that Bairstow’s effort at the Ageas Bowl highlighted his credentials as one of the best limited-overs openers in world cricket. He said, “The pitch, when he was batting, looked an absolute belter. There was a bit of pace in it and Jonny Bairstow smashed it everywhere. He hit it on the up, he looked like he could pull, the odd bouncer was flying through and then there was a point when Eoin Morgan got out and Billings had only just got in – no-one else had got a run.”
“He was just playing a different game to everyone else, bar Billings and Willey at the end. When he’s on song, there’s not many better to watch for pure ball-striking and the way he takes to opening bowlers.”
“You certainly can’t call him a flat track bully – this wasn’t one of those. If you were picking a world XI for opening batsmen in 50-over cricket at the moment, it’d be hard to leave him out.”