England opener Jonny Bairstow says an “easy chemistry” helps to make his partnership with Jason Roy in one-day cricket a success.
The pair put on 135 to get England’s chase off to a blistering start in the first ODI against India before the innings subsided after the pair were dismissed, enabling the hosts to claim a 66-run win in Pune.
It was the 12th century stand in just 42 ODI innings between Roy and Bairstow since they first opened the batting together in 2017 and the 31-year-old Yorkshireman believes simplicity has been key to making it work.
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“It’s an easy chemistry, there’s no great shakes to it,” he told reporters. “We talk about very simple things out in the middle and keep it very simple. It’s not as if we’re talking about ‘OK, I’m taking him’ or anything like that, it’s a very go-with-how-the-game-pans-out approach.
“If you look at yesterday and I think I was nine off 18 and I end up getting 90-odd off 60. Yesterday was a fairly slow start, the way that Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled at us didn’t allow us to get off to that fast start. However, we caught it up.
“All of a sudden we were 135 off 14 overs having been on eight after three overs. I think it’s a really interesting way of looking at it because it wasn’t a crash, bang, wallop start. Sometimes when you’re 135 from 14, people might think you went from ball one but, in actual fact, we hadn’t, there were three or four overs at the start where we hung back.
“Understanding each other enough to know that and not putting pressure on one another to have to go after it because we’ve got complete trust in each other to know that just one over and you’ve caught it up.
“I think that runs throughout the side but having the trust in each other’s games to just stay calm, stay relaxed and not pile pressure on each other is the important factor of it.
“It helps a lot, having some stability in where you’re batting is important because you’re able to prepare for that, come into the one-day series knowing your game-plan, where you’re going to be and how you can go about it as well as the challenges the opposition may throw at you.”
“I take a heck of a lot of pride in it, that’s the reason why we play the game, that’s the reason that we won the World Cup because of the pride and passion we put into it and that’s not going to change leading into the next World Cup.”
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Bairstow himself smashed 94 from 66 balls to make it four 80-plus scores in his last six ODI innings and a combined total of four runs in the other two knocks. He was asked whether his was a ‘go big or go home approach’.
“I want it to be that approach and, ideally, I’d have gone a bit bigger so those 80s and 90s would have turned into hundreds as well,” he said.
“I think that is important because if you’re getting starts and turning them into 80s, 90s and hundreds at the top of the order then you’re batting until 25, 30, 35 overs and if you’re in at that point then we should be on target to get a fairly large score.
India vs England
March 26, 2021, 7:30am
“It’s not something that I’ve consciously gone about, thinking ‘I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do that’; I’ve relished opening the batting in one-day cricket, I’ve wanted to go out and score hundreds for England because you want to take your opportunity and make your mark.
“I’d like to hope that I’ve done that and that it can continue because I’m delighted with the way that it’s going and hopefully it keeps that upward trend.”
Watch the second one-day international between India and England, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 7.30am on Friday.
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