The England batsman Jonny Bairstow, who scored a half-century in the powerplay itself in the game against RCB, admitted in the post-match interview that he likes to open the batting in the IPL and the stats also suggest that he has been most effective when he has been slotted at that position, rather than the middle order.
Jonny Bairstow is the ODI opener for the England cricket team, but he doesn’t open the batting in T20 cricket for England. Punjab Kings also used him in the middle order in the initial phases of IPL 2022, but Bairstow wasn’t that successful batting at no. 4.
The Punjab skipper Mayank Agarwal then decided to demote himself to the middle order and give Bairstow his preferred slot and it turned out to be a decision that worked wonders for Punjab yesterday.
Bairstow made a difference for Punjab straightaway as he took RCB’s best seamer, Josh Hazlewood, to the cleaners in the powerplay in a very important game last night and set the tempo for Punjab Kings with a 29-ball 66 at the top of the order.
Punjab then went on to score 209 which, even though the pitch was good for batting, proved to be too much for RCB, as they fell more than 50 runs short of the target and suffered their 6th loss of the season.
This victory has now got Punjab back in the playoffs race because not only did they win the game, they won by such a massive margin that it impacted their Net Run Rate positively as well.
Jonny Bairstow was rampant in the powerplay against RCB
Although apart from Jonny Bairstow, the contributions were there from Liam Livingstone and Kagiso Rabada as well, Jonny Bairstow was so rampant in the powerplay that he was declared the man of the match.
Punjab, however, still needs to win their next two games to secure their playoffs qualification, but they are well and truly in the race now with the momentum that they gained against RCB.