Bairstow is enjoying opening the innings with Punjab Kings

Mumbai, May 14 (PTI) Jonny Bairstow hasn’t opened a lot for England in the recent past but is enjoying his role as an opener for Punjab Kings in the ongoing Indian Premier League.

Bairstow smashed 66 runs in just 29 balls with the help of four fours and seven sixes as Punjab Kings beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 54 runs.

Bairstow said in the post-match press conference, “I am happy with the way I have adjusted to the opener. I am really enjoying playing at the top of the order again.

Bairstow arrived late for the current tournament and initially batted in the middle order where he struggled to get into his rhythm. The team management then gave him a chance to bat in the top order and captain Mayank Agarwal decided to bat in the middle order.

Bairstow could only manage one run in the first match as an opener against Gujarat Titans but after that he returned to form with 56 against Rajasthan Royals and then 66 on Friday.

In the last two years, Bairstow has batted in the middle order most of the time in T20 Internationals for England but has also opened the innings in some matches. Bairstow also plays the role of wicketkeeper when Jos Buttler is not playing.

Bairstow said, “Playing for England and playing here are two completely different things. For England in the middle order, I have to play a different role and here you can see the statistics that I am enjoying opening the innings.