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Jonny Bairstow reports to the Punjab Kings camp ahead of their showdown with KKR

Jonny Bairstow has joined the Punjab Kings camp ahead of Friday’s match against Kolkata Knight Riders (April 1). On the other hand, England’s wicketkeeper-batsman is likely to miss that match due to bio-secure bubble protocols. Bairstow, however, would almost certainly be available for the side’s third match.

Bairstow was unavailable from the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 due to national duties. He represented England in the just-finished three-match Test series against the West Indies, in which England lost 0-1. Nonetheless, PBKS will now have access to Bairstow’s services, which will delight the team’s management. Meanwhile, Bairstow’s entrance into the camp was confirmed via PBKS’ official social media accounts.

Notably, the right-handed batter will constitute the PBKS top three alongside skipper Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan. He will also take over from Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s wicketkeeping duties whenever he is fit to enter the field. Meanwhile, PBKS spent INR 6.75 crore in the major auction to secure England’s batter.

The 32-year-old is likely to be a key cog in the PBKS batting line-up after establishing himself as a force in white-ball cricket. Bairstow can attack bowlers from the start, and his ability to play large knocks adds to his effectiveness. Additionally, the veteran can bat anywhere in the batting order and is familiar with the IPL’s drills.