T20 World Cup:There's a reason why I've played for so long, and be in the team, says Bairstow

North Sound (Antigua), June 16 (IANS) After England secured a 41-run win over Namibia in a truncated affair and seeing Australia beat Scotland to enter the Super Eight stage, wicketkeeper-batter Jonny Bairstow hit back at the critics for questioning his place in the side, saying there’s a reason behind him playing international cricket for a long time.

Under pressure due to scoring just 64 runs in his last four T20Is, Bairstow smashed 31 off 18 balls while sharing a 56-run stand with Harry Brook for the third wicket as England made 122/5 in their ten overs, which was enough for the defending champions to get an important win over Namibia.

“Look, people are allowed to have opinions, and yeah, look, it’s part and parcel of it. It’s not the first time that people have had a go at me, is it? So yeah, you take it on the chin, and you crack on.

“But look, at the end of the day, there’s a reason why I’ve played for so long, and there’s a reason why I’m in the team. So maybe sometimes the opinions and the views that come through certain people’s eyes are incorrect and maybe need to look at themselves,” said Bairstow in the post-match press conference.

Bairstow is still one of the few players who plays all three formats of international cricket and he’s admitted it’s a tough juggling act for him this year, but is still proud of himself to maintain that balance.

“I’d like to be keeping wicket and batting in the Tests. That’s exactly what I’ve wanted to do. I haven’t spent much time thinking about it. The games have been coming thick and fast. I think I’ve had about five nights at home since January 11th, when we left.

“So, it’s something that you just keep playing, you keep trying to learn, you keep enjoying the experiences and the challenges that get put in front of you, and I think that that’s the important bit.

“When you are on tour and when you’re fortunate enough to play in the different formats and the different countries that you have around the world, the willingness and the enjoyment and the challenges you’ve got to accept and sometimes overcome them and look at times it does get difficult.

“At times, it is hard to adapt from format to format, and it does take a little bit of change, but look, it’s something that I’ve done for all my career, and I wouldn’t change anything of it to be quite honest with you because to be fortunate enough to play in all three formats for England it’s something that I’m very, very proud of,” he elaborated.

Asked if he’s okay with being moved up and down the batting order as per demands of the situation, Bairstow remarked, “Look I’m not sure that’s going to be a permanent thing I don’t know what’s going on with that. Here, that was the decision that was made.

“You go out there and you perform in the positions that you’re asked to do so. That partnership in the middle there, like I said, after losing two early on was an imperative partnership and something that, look, if Harry and I can bat for a period of time through the middle, there’s going to be some decent scores.”



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