Bairstow likens England approach to that of dominant All Blacks side
Jonny Bairstow thinks England are following a similar blueprint in their quest for further honours to the one that allowed the New Zealand rugby union team to flourish for much of the last decade.
The All Blacks may have relinquished their iron grip on the Rugby World Cup over the weekend but Bairstow pointed out experience held the key to their back-to-back triumphs in the last two editions.
Much of the England side that ended the country’s wait for a 50-over global title in July will be in contention for next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, a factor Bairstow insists only enhances their prospects.
Asked whether the World Cup win has only whetted their appetite for more trophies, Bairstow responded: “Without a doubt. It’s a fascinating period to be playing cricket for England.
“There’s some very, very talented guys that 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.
“I think if you look at the All Blacks in the two previous World Cups, the amount of caps they had leading into those tournaments, there’s a reason why they were successful.
“Vice versa, there’s a reason why we have the processes we have implemented and the way in which we’re going about our training, our fitness levels and everything like that is heading in the right direction.”
As for England’s semi-final victory over the All Blacks in Yokohama, Bairstow added: “We all watched it at the team hotel and it was amazing to see. To say you’ve watched the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand when England were playing New Zealand is pretty cool.”
Bairstow revealed there was “no rugby chat” from a New Zealand XI as England started their winter schedule with a six-wicket victory in a T20 warm-up at a windswept Lincoln on Sunday afternoon.
Bairstow, who starred with a belligerent 78 not out from 45 balls, is undaunted by the prospect of only 12 months of preparation for the T20 World Cup as opposed to the meticulous four-year planning that went into the 50-over success.
He added: “You’ve got guys playing T20 in competitions around the world whether that be the Indian Premier League, Big Bash (in Australia) or whatever it may be, so I’m not too sure it’s going to make too much of a difference.
“Then you’ve got the Hundred that’s starting next year so that’s an even shorter format that will allow people to put their skills on show to potentially push for that squad.”
England have a final warm-up at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval on Tuesday before five Twenty20s against the Black Caps, an opponent Bairstow knows will be eager for revenge after their dramatic World Cup final defeat.
Bairstow added: “They’re dangerous no matter what. 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.”