With exactly a year to go to the T20 World Cup in Australia, Jonny Bairstow hopes that England can take inspiration from their maiden ODI World Cup conquest at home this summer. England overcame a stiff challenge from New Zealand in the final and both teams went toe-to-toe with England emerging as the champions. And now, their preparation for the T20 mega-event begins in the home of their finale opponents, New Zealand, where Eoin Morgan will be in charge of a squad featuring a bunch of new faces. Bairstow assumes the role of the senior player with the likes of Jason Roy, Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, and Moeen Ali all rested for the tour.
“I think it does feel like the start of that journey towards the T20 World Cup,” Bairstow said after England’s victory in the warm-up fixture in Lincoln. “It’s going to come around thick and fast. Seeing guys who’ve played county cricket taking the step up to international cricket is going to be fascinating. That, coupled with the guys that are not on this tour but will come back into the team, there’s going to be competition for places.
“The cycle for the 50-over World Cup started four years ago. Hopefully, we’re fortunate enough that the way we’ve played our 50-over cricket will lead us well into our T20 cricket.
“It’s a fascinating period to be playing cricket for England. Some very, very talented guys have played a lot of cricket now for England that are all together and have the experience of going through the ups, the downs and everything in between.”
New Zealand will be without captain Kane Williamson for this upcoming series but Bairstow isn’t underestimating the hosts, who they ultimately beat on boundary count to be able to lift their maiden World Cup earlier this year.
“They’re dangerous no matter what,” he said. “We’ll be expecting a very tough challenge and that’s every time you play against New Zealand because they’ve got quality all the way through. They are a great bunch of fellas but naturally what happened at Lord’s is going to be quite tough for those guys and there will be a fire in their belly and a hunger to put things right.”