‘It’s England v Australia but we’ll still shake hands’ – Bairstow on Warner friendship

David Warner and Jonny Bairstow may have formed a blistering
Opening venture in this year’s IPL however Bairstow anticipates that will all be forgotten on the field when the pair line up on opposite sides to the very first Specsavers Ashes Test, which starts on Thursday at Edgbaston.

The pair combined to an IPL opening partnership record when they blitzed 185 runs in 16.2 overs for Sunrisers Hyderabad from Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of the World Cup. It had been an eyebrow-raising combination, not simply due to the barbarous power-hitting on screen but it came following the 2017-18 Ashes series in Australia, through which rumours swirled about excessive sledging aimed at Bairstow from the Australian.

'It's England v Australia but we'll still shake hands' - Bairstow on Warner friendship

“I’ve spoken about batting with Dave a couple of times,” Bairstow said, in front of a training session using partially sighted cricketers at Birmingham on Monday. “It is still England v Australia. Part and parcel of franchise cricket around the globe – you will play with people, it’s something you get used to doing.

“He’ll be wanting to win for Australia, I would like to win for England, but we will still shake hands off the field.

“A great deal of cricket, a great deal of things have happened since Brisbane. It is so long ago. They will be looking to target people, of course they will. They will be looking for areas in people’s games – like people analyse them. It is a component of professional sport.”

Earlier in the day Ashley Giles spoke about England handling a World Cup”hangover” and Bairstow was among many players that backed up from the Lord’s final by playing in the Test against Ireland and struggling with the bat, which makes a pair for the first time in Tests. However, Bairstow stated that he had no qualms about acting in the match and was particularly excited to get back into the rhythm of wicketkeeping ahead of the Ashes.

“I did not wish to be going into the first Ashes Test having not kept – I needed to return keeping and the rhythm of my maintaining which was the main reason for playing at the Ireland Test,” Bairstow explained.

“Maintaining in white ball differs to maintaining in red ball – back to the rhythm. Even the shuttles, the proceeding, getting your angles with the fields – the general gist back into the swing of red-ball cricket again. Everybody was bedding back in – we have not played for a month or two.”

“Jos was with a laugh , saying,’Good luck!’ I have not kept to him [much] yet but it’s exciting. That is another choice that needs to be made – if he starts. He has put the body via a reasonable bit.”

While the memories along with euphoria of winning the World Cup are still fresh in the mind, Bairstow thinks it’s significant that England capitalise on the feel-good factor during the Ashes.

“I really don’t believe that will be missing if we did not win the Ashes. There have been series because the 2005 Ashes but everyone remembers it fondly, there have been World Cups since the rugby win in 2003 but the impact of it wasn’t lost. But it’s crucial to keep the momentum going 100 percent.

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