By Steve Pearson
Jonny Bairstow concluded a remarkable maiden IPL campaign in which the wicket-keeper batsman set the competition alight with outstanding glove work and ferocious power-hitting.
Bradford-born Bairstow was the only Yorkshireman in this year’s incarnation, after England captain Joe Root was denied permission to participate by the English Cricket Board (ECB) due to a hectic 2019 schedule.
That left the full weight of Yorkshire’s expectations and a hefty $310,000 price tag on Bairstow’s shoulders, but nothing would prevent the Yorkshireman from showcasing his mercurial talents. His 445 runs over 10 innings at a mammoth 55.62 average was only bettered by Australian International teammate and Sunrisers opening partner, David Warner.
In his third outing, Bairstow hit his first IPL century with a sensational knock of 114 from 56 balls. His opening stand of 185 with Warner was the highest first wicket partnership in IPL history, and the Sunrisers total of 231 set the franchise record.
Over the course of his 10 matches, Bairstow picked up 2 man of the match awards, 2 striker of the match awards (best batsman), and completed his individual honours with a catch of the match award.
At his time of departure, the Sunrisers Hyderabad sat 4th in the league with genuine hopes of securing a play-off spot thanks to the endeavours of Bairstow.
With English World Cup preparations ramping up in the form of a 5 ODI series against Pakistan, Bairstow’s contract was cut short at 10 matches. But few have made such a lasting impression in their debut season as Bairstow.
His contributions, both on and off the field, were warmly received by the Sunrisers and a return to the Orange Army in 2020 looks a formality. The team even went to the lengths of producing a tribute video thanking the Yorkshire man for his efforts.
Attention for Bairstow will now shift to the World Cup and Ashes series, both of which will be held on home soil this coming Summer. Bairstow will have a key role to play and if his recent IPL stint is anything to go by, Bairstow will do Yorkshire and England proud.