Mumbai, May 14 (Ajitweekly News) Legendary India batter Sachin Tendulkar was left extremely impressed by Punjab Kings opener Jonny Bairstow’s blazing 29-ball 66 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2022, focusing on the timing of his shots and takedown of pacer Josh Hazlewood.
Apart from Bairstow, his England team-mate Liam Livingstone cruised his way to 70 off 42 balls to set up Punjab’s 54-run win.
“I was very impressed with the way Jonny Bairstow batted. Bangalore kind of surprised Punjab by introducing (Glenn) Maxwell to bowl in the first over. But the way he smashed him for a six over mid-off, it showed how well Jonny Bairstow used his hands beautifully. He didn’t try to use brute strength every time and his positioning was very nice,” said Tendulkar in a video on his Youtube channel on Saturday.
In the second over of Punjab’s innings, Bairstow smacked a brace of boundaries and sixes each to take 22 runs off the over, an onslaught from which Bangalore could never recover.
“He was extremely smart in the way he was batting against Josh Hazlewood. Hazlewood generally tends to bowl a bit short of a good length and doesn’t bowl much full deliveries. Bairstow didn’t use long-arm levers, but kept his hands closer to body and targeted the square leg and mid-wicket region,” observed Tendulkar.
Tendulkar further pointed out that Bangalore should have bowled more fuller balls to keep Bairstow quiet or bowl away from his preferred leg-side areas.
“According to me, Bangalore failed to pick that Bairstow wasn’t putting away the fuller deliveries. He missed two-three full tosses; just gently pushed them and also didn’t capitalize on some overpitched deliveries. He knew that most of the balls would be away from him and he used that length to his fullest. His on-side game was impressive and he hurt Bengaluru the most upfront.”
After Bairstow fell, Livingstone stepped up in the last six overs, dispatching Hazlewood for 24 runs in the 19th over, including two fours and as many sixes.
“Livingstone’s bat speed and back lift is incredible. He was not only hitting big sixes against fast bowlers but also showed great experience. A batter like Livingstone is expected to play at a strike rate of 150+ and also bat till the end which he did. It was because of Livingstone that Punjab scored 209 runs on the board,” stated Tendulkar.
It was a forgetful day for Bangalore but Tendulkar signed off by applauding Harshal Patel for his 4/34, including picking three wickets in a final over where he conceded just four runs.
“The only reason Punjab could score 209 and not more was because of Harshal Patel. His bowling is improving day-by- day and is able to disguise his variations beautifully. He is one of our leading bowlers in the country when it comes to death overs. When batters are looking to accelerate, Harshal is a top bet.”