England batsman Eoin Morgan has compared David Warner and Jonny Bairstow’s bromance for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the ongoing season of Indian Premier League with the pairing of former Manchester United forwards, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo. It is open knowledge that Warner and Bairstow have not had the best of relations when playing for their respective international teams, considering the rivalry between Australia and England.
In 2017 during the Ashes Test series, Bairstow was accused of ‘headbutting’ Warner’s, then opening partner Cameron Bancroft. But England captain Morgan believes that two have learned to work together for common cause for SRH.
“The two of them are team-mates for the moment but that is the beauty of playing franchise cricket. You do get to rub shoulders with guys you never thought you’d play with,” the left-handed batsman said in an interview to ESPNcricinfo.
Warner and Bairstow have stitched four consecutive fifty-plus opening stands. The duo also went on a rampage against Royal Challengers Bangalore, in which they both scored a ton to take their side to a total of 231 in 20 overs.
Morgan added: “Thinking about it since in different sports, in football it happens all the time. Compare Portugal’s game where Ronaldo got Wayne Rooney sent off [at 2006 World Cup], and had to go back and play for Manchester United two weeks later. It’s trickier circumstances, but I’m sure Jonny is learning a huge amount from other guys that he’s rubbing shoulders with.”
There are a total of 11 England internationals playing in IPL this season. Apart from Bairstow, Sam Curran is another England cricketer that has caught attention, especially after he took a match-winning hat-trick for Kings XI Punjab against Delhi Capitals. Morgan says that IPL has raised the standard of cricket back home.
“In the last three or four years it’s been a huge step forward for us. We’ve not only had a lot of guys in demand for IPL teams, we’ve had guys go out and be contenders for MVP of the tournament, and that says a huge amount about the cricketers we are producing and the guys going out there with aspirations. It really does raise the standard of our own game within the international team,” the 32-year-old said.
Speaking on Curran’s performance, he added: “Playing the first game and then getting dropped for the second was a huge test for him as a character. And having to come back in and perform, clearly Sam was up to it, and was in the right head space. The IPL is a great opportunity, not only for him, but for other guys who’ve spent some time out there to gain experience.”
On being questioned about when England would be announcing the World Cup squad for England, the left-handed batsman said: “Over the last two years, we’ve evolved past a squad of 15 players who have contributed to the team at any stage, and moved to 17, 18, 19 players. It’s never been easy to announce a squad of 15 and that will be the case for the summer. We’ve always said that guys who contribute at that time will be selected, and I don’t think anything will change.”
“There’s a lot of cricket to be played with Pakistan and Ireland, and I think there will be opportunities for guys who aren’t necessarily nailed down in the team to go and prove that they are in good form, and that they offer a lot to the team for that World Cup,” he added.