Jonny Bairstow was in a buoyant mood after England’s thumping six-wicket win over India in the second ODI. The opener discussed England’s strategy of chasing down totals in the 50-over format.
Led by Jonny Bairstow’s magnificent 124 off 112 balls, England chased down 337 in just 43.3 overs, with the visitors' attacking intent being evident from ball one.
Despite being in a dominating position, England didn’t slow down, sticking to the approach which made them world champions. During a press conference after the game, Jonny Bairstow was asked to shed some light on his side's attacking approach while chasing totals.
“Chase them down as fast as we can. That’s as simple as it gets. We go out there and try to put the bowlers under pressure in order to try and get them to make a mistake. That's the way we go about it,” Bairstow said.
The England batsmen came out with clear intent in mind on Friday. While Jason Roy attacked from the start, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow’s 175-run partnership in the middle overs took the game away from India.
The visitors hit 20 sixes and 24 boundaries along the way, wrapping up their highest ODI chase against India with ease. After the game, Jonny Bairstow admitted England’s deep batting line-up gives the top-order the freedom to play an attacking game.
“If it is not my day, it is not Jason’s day it is not Ben’s day, the strength in depth in our batting lineup is something that we are very fortunate to have,” Bairstow added.
"We're not just going out and playing rash shots or slogging" - Jonny Bairstow
Scoring heavily during powerplays has been a feature of England’s innings during the first two ODIs. Even debutant Liam Livingstone came out all guns blazing, with the visitors attacking India’s bowlers, despite having the game under control on Friday.
Jonny Bairstow pointed out how England consciously go about their business, referring to their recent success in white-ball cricket.
“I think there is a method. We are not just going out and playing rash shots or slogging. There is definitely a method behind it. We wouldn’t be doing it consistently over a period of time if there wasn’t. So, there is definitely a method behind it I promise you,” Bairstow explained.
England possess one of the deepest batting line-ups in world cricket. Practically all 11 players can bat to some extent. Jonny Bairstow thinks that strength in depth gives the top-order the confidence to attack from the start.
“Yeah absolutely, we got Adil Rashid coming in it at 10 or 11. Adil on his own has got 10 first-class hundreds now. To have that kind of strike power coming in at 10 or 11 is not something many teams around the world will have. But when you couple that with the power of the likes of Moeen Ali, the Curran brothers, the list goes on. It definitely does give you a lot of confidence knowing the batting lineup is stocked,” Bairstow added.
England will be high on confidence heading into the series decider on Sunday. With the series level at 1-1, it will be interesting to see which team comes out on top in the third and final ODI.