The Punjab Kings posted a massive 54-run win against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium to get closer to the knockouts of the Tata IPL 2022.

Jonny Bairstow’s 66 (29) was not just vital in that win, but also a return to form for the England batter, whose services Punjab need now more than ever. The Player of the Match addressed the media after the game, and below is how it went.

On mindset before the game

The England opener did not have much success early on in the tournament before finally clicking in the previous game with a half-century against the Rajasthan Royals. Bairstow spoke about how this weighed on him ahead of the game against RCB.

“I’ve been caught fine leg twice, third man once and once at the 19.5 over mark. The differences there are being unselfish and being in a difficult composition. So now I’m happy in a way that I have transitioned to opening the batting. So, it’s been very enjoyable, being back up at the top,” he said.

He also spoke about how opening the batting happened. “I hadn’t actually had a conversation about opening the batting. That is just how it came about. That was the decision, for me to do that raw,” the PBKS batter said.

On what went right

The Player of the Match from last night scored his fastest IPL fifty ever, but he didn’t have anything planned as such. He said, “I just think that sometimes there’s balls in your area and you’ve got to try and take advantage of them.”

“Look, I think there’s something about form and things like that. Sometimes it’s very fine lines when you might get caught on the boundary just inside the rope or you might get a thin edge on another one. So, today was just a good day and I had to take advantage of the powerplay,” the big-hitter said.

On PBKS’ plan against RCB

PBKS went big right away against RCB to build up a total of 209/9. That was not a plan specific for this team, Bairstow said. “Honestly, that’s been the ethos of how we’ve tried to go about all of the tournament. That’s been the way the guys have tried to go about the process of the game,” he said.

“You’d noticed sometimes that we’ve lost wickets in clusters in the middle which stifled our progress. On the whole, that was the way we wanted to try and go about it for the majority of the tournament. It doesn’t happen all the time, but if we can execute that more often than not, then hopefully more than a couple of people stand up and we’re able to get that job done.”

Plan ahead

With the qualification scenarios for the Tata IPL 2022 getting heated up, Bairstow threw light on what was on the minds of the Kings. “I think winning the next two would be nice. That’s the only thing that we can control at this point of time and we have to go on from there,” Bairstow said.

“If we don’t win two games, then no matter what our run rate is, we don’t potentially pass through into the knockout stage of the competition. So, there’s no grand plans, I’m sorry to disappoint you on that one,” he smiled.

“The plans are to get two wins in the next two games. We’ve done it today, but we haven’t done it back-to-back in the competition enough when we should have done. So, that’s where we stand. We need to win the next two to get through and that’s what we’ll be trying to do. If the run rate comes into play then we shall take that into account too,” the opener revealed.