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Jonny Bairstow attributes his century against New Zealand to the IPL

Jonny Bairstow, England’s ace wicketkeeper-batter, expressed gratitude to the Indian Premier League (IPL) for providing him with the “gears” to play the innings of his life. Bairstow hit a superb century against World Test Champions New Zealand on the final day of the second Test match at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Tuesday, June 14.

Bairstow’s century, combined with Ben Stokes’ undefeated half-century, helped England chase down the 299-run mark on the fifth day, allowing them to rise up the WTC points table. Bairstow’s century was the second-fastest by any English batter, as he achieved the milestone in 77 balls, one more than record-holder Gilbert Jessop.

The 32-year-old was a member of the Punjab Kings squad in IPL 2022 and contributed to the team’s success. He chose to play in the IPL rather than join Yorkshire for the County Championship, and he went on to play the Test series against New Zealand when the IPL concluded. He believes that forsaking domestic cricket for a franchise-based league game is not a wise decision, but he is content with his decision.

The talented batter will be back in action next week when England takes on New Zealand in the third and final Test match of the series at Headingley in Leeds, which begins on Thursday, June 23.