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‘You’re Playing Against Best in the World at IPL’: Jonny Bairstow After Ton vs New Zealand in 2nd Test

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England batter Jonny Bairstow played a blistering knock of 92-ball 136 to help his side successfully pull off a day-five chase against New Zealand in the second Test. Bairstow’s record-breaking 77-ball century also appeared to be the second-fastest Test ton by an English batter after Gilbert Jessop’s 76-ball ton back in 1902. Bairstow’s inning was comprised of 14 boundaries and seven sixes as the hosts successfully chased down a target of 299 against the Kiwis to clinch a five-wicket victory in the second Test.

Bairstow took part in the Test series after completing his Indian Premier League stint with the Punjab Kings franchise. The 32-year-old cricketer had an offer to represent Yorkshire in the County cricket but he opted for the Indian domestic T20 event. Bairstow feels that in IPL, a player gets an opportunity to play against the best opponents in the world.

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“There was a lot of people that were saying I should not be at the IPL and I should be playing county cricket. Yes, people say it would be fantastic if you had four games of red-ball cricket under your belt (before a Test series) but, unfortunately, that doesn’t happen with the current scheduling of everything around the world,” Bairstow was quoted as per Cricket 365.

“Decisions are decisions and if I could say what I wanted to then… never mind. But there are elements to it where you are playing against the best in the world at the IPL. Being able to have those gears, to be able to go and switch them up, switch them down, is important,” he further added.

Coming back to the second Test, apart from Bairstow, English skipper Ben Stokes also played a crucial role in the second innings as he notched up a terrific innings of unbeaten 75 off 70 balls. Stokes had hit 10 boundaries and four sixes during his knock.

Earlier, in the first Test match, the Ben Stokes-led side had scripted a five-wicket win to take 1-0 lead in the series. The third and final Test match of the series is scheduled to be played at Headingley in Leeds on June 23.

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