England registered an incredible victory against New Zealand in the second Test of the series to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Chasing a 299-run target on the final day of the Test, England rode on a magnificent knock from Jonny Bairstow (136 off 92 balls), while Ben Stokes slammed 75 off just 70 deliveries as the home side chased down the target with five wickets remaining.
England had lost four quick wickets in the game in the run-chase, and were reeling at 93/4 at one stage. However, Bairstow remained undeterred with the flurry of dismissals and took on an aggressive approach; by the time he departed, England needed only 27 more runs to win with over 20 overs remaining in the day.
Following the win, Bairstow spoke about his decision to skip the County Championships for the 2022 Indian Premier League, insisting that the league allowed him to play the best in business.
"A lot of people were saying I shouldn't be at the IPL and I should be playing county cricket," Bairstow said, as quoted by Guardian.
"But you are playing against the best in the world at the IPL. Being able to have those gears, to be able to switch them up and switch them down, is important. People say it would be fantastic if you had four games of red-ball cricket under your belt. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen in the current scheduling of everything and we're very fortunate to be able to play in some of the best competitions against the best players in the world."
Furthermore, Bairstow added that he wanted to put himself in pressure situations and said that IPL also gave him an opportunity to test himself in troubled scenarios during games.
"When it comes to pressure situations, the more you're able to put yourself under pressure the better. Because it's those situations that you've gone through in the past, whether that be in the IPL, in one-day cricket or in red-ball cricket, that you're able to call upon on evenings like that. And those opportunities and environments, whether they be for good or bad, are the things that [mean] you're able to produce performances like we as a group have done in this game, in the last game, and hopefully will do going forward," said Bairstow.