Jonny Bairstow is relishing the start of England’s “new journey” against New Zealand at Lord’s this week.
Bairstow only returned from his spell with IPL side the Punjab Kings last Monday and has yet to play any red-ball cricket this season. But the wicketkeeper-batsman immediately joined up with Ben Stokes’ side ahead of Thursday’s first Test.
With new England Test captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum starting their reign, Bairstow is keen to get a feel for the new regime.
“I don’t want a rest. I’ve never been one for resting when there are opportunities to play for England,” Bairstow told reporters on Monday.
“It is extremely special and that has always been my goal, to play for England as long as I can. Lord’s is a fantastic place for us to be to start the new journey, it all begins on Thursday and it should be great fun. It’s exciting.”
McCullum took England training for the first time on Monday as the New Zealander returned to Lord’s, where the Black Caps lost to England in the 50-over World Cup final in 2019.
Bairstow was a key player in the white-ball transformation and is looking forward to being part of McCullum’s red-ball overhaul.
“Brendon is someone I’ve always wanted to work with. He’s someone I’ve played against and grown up watching and was very intrigued by,” he said.
“He’s someone I’ve looked up to in many ways for the way he went about his cricket. I’m really excited about the prospect of hopefully working with him for a long period of time.
“The experience he has got, playing all those games for New Zealand and his coaching experience he’s got, he can bring that to the guys.
“I’m sure there’ll be things that rub off within the environment within the next weeks, months and years. There’s a lot of positivity around the group, first and foremost.”
© Agence France-Presse