Jonny Bairstow insists England are ready to “grit it out” in Sri Lanka if the hosts try to make conditions tricky for batting during the forthcoming five-match one-day series.
With Sri Lanka eager to turnaround their ill-fortune after a poor Asia Cup display and having gone winless in their last nine home series, rumours abound that the hosts will produce challenging wickets to unsettle England’s lengthy batting line-up.
Bairstow knows England’s batsmen much deal tactfully with unfamiliar conditions if they are to triumph this month.
“If you look at the pitches for South Africa they looked like good cricket pitches,” the Yorkshireman said ahead of Friday’s warm-up against a Colombo XI. “Whether they change their tactics and produce pitches that are slightly different for us … so be it.
“We’ve got to prepare like that’s the case. Yes, we’d like to play on good pitches and yes, we’d like to have high-scoring games, but we’re prepared to guts it out and grit it out if needed.
“Both teams have to bat and bowl on them, whether it’s batting first or bowling first, under lights or through the day. We’ve experienced these challenges before in India and Bangladesh and come out on top, so we’re confident going into the series.
“We like to think the majority of our players have experienced conditions around the world.”
Bairstow, who is averaging 51.05 in 19 ODI innings in 2018 and has notched four centuries, has made himself indispensable to the world’s No.1 ranked 50-over side, forming a swashbuckling opening partnership with Jason Roy.
“It’s great that it’s gone so well but you want to keep it going in the right direction. I’m happy with my game, but you want to keep improving, moving forward, pushing yourself. This is a great opportunity to do that.”
The first ODI between Sri Lanka and England takes place on Wednesday, October 10 in Dambulla.