Bairstow still keen to be England's man for all seasons

By Sports Desk July 22, 2022

Jonny Bairstow has vowed to carry on playing for England in all three formats in international cricket – even if the workload has become too much for Test captain Ben Stokes.

Yorkshireman Bairstow won his 94th ODI cap for England in Friday's clash with South Africa at Old Trafford, and he has also played 87 Tests and 63 T20I matches.

Coming up for his 33rd birthday in September, Bairstow is eager to stay involved at the highest level "for as long as possible". Stokes quit the ODI team this week to focus on Tests and T20I commitments.

Bairstow feels the 50-over game remains an essential step for anyone keen to earn "a quick buck" in T20 leagues, and said the same applied for first-class cricket.

He told Sky Sports: "Naturally there are challenges, we've seen that over a period of time now.

"We only have to look at the Tests this summer where there was a one-day squad over in Holland at the same time. Even at the back end of this summer, there are the seven T20s in Pakistan that pretty much overlap with the last Test match [against South Africa].

"But you know me well enough to know that I will be trying to play all forms for as long as possible.

"I will be going all out for as long as I can. There might come a time that, for different reasons, you do have to make a decision but that's part of life and part and parcel of cricket.

"In the near future, I don't see myself making a choice. I love being part of all three squads."

Bairstow described ODIs as "a stepping stone into Test cricket", given the game is not typically as frenetic as the T20I format, with solid technique and patience required.

He is enjoying a stellar year at international level, albeit he had a disappointing spell with Punjab Kings in the lucrative IPL, scoring just 253 runs in 21 innings.

Players can earn big money from competing in such competitions, but Bairstow believes developing a solid game by playing longer-format cricket is imperative.

"There is the lure of playing in T20 leagues and making a quick buck, let's be honest about that," Bairstow said. "But, everything comes from your basic technique, which you learn in four-day cricket – and then you expand from that."

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