'They're dangerous, no matter what': Jonny Bairstow insists New Zealand are out for revenge as he targets dominant era ahead of next year's Twenty20 World Cup
Jonny Bairstow has warned of a New Zealand backlash in response to July's remarkable World Cup final as he helped get coach Chris Silverwood's reign off to a winning start.
In his first innings since being dropped from the Test side, Bairstow pummelled an unbeaten 78 off 45 balls as England began their winter with a comfortable six-wicket win in a Twenty20 warm-up game against a New Zealand Cricket XI in Lincoln.
But Bairstow, who played a central part in Eoin Morgan's World Cup-winning team, suggested the New Zealanders had unfinished business following their defeat at Lord's three months ago on the agonising technicality of boundary countback after the match and super over both finished tied.
Jonny Bairstow is hoping England can enter an era of dominance after their ODI success
'They're dangerous, no matter what,' he said. 'We'll be expecting a very tough challenge, and that's every time you play against New Zealand because they've got quality all the way through.
'They are a great bunch of fellas, but naturally what happened at Lord's is going to be quite tough for those guys, and they'll have a fire in their belly and a hunger to put things right.'
England's tour opener took place less than 24 hours after their rugby players had stunned the All Blacks in Yokohama - though Bairstow said there had been 'no rugby chat' out in the middle.
The keeper-batsman said England want to follow the all-conquering New Zealand blueprint
'We all watched it at the team hotel and it was amazing to see,' he said. 'To say you've watched the rugby World Cup in New Zealand when England were playing New Zealand is pretty cool. Two England World Cup-winning teams in one year would be special, wouldn't it?'
The next global event for England's cricketers is the T20 World Cup in Australia in October 2020, and the squad for their five-match series, starting in Christchurch on Friday, was picked with the future in mind.
Tom Banton, Saqib Mahmood and Pat Brown, all in their early twenties, made their representative debuts here on Sunday, and while results were mixed, each player produced snatches of promise.
Bairstow scored a belligerent 78 not out from 45 balls in their Twenty20 warm up game
With England chasing 173, Banton swung the second ball, off left-arm spinner Anton Devcich, high over midwicket for six, and the sixth for four, before becoming the first of three wickets for the rapid Lockie Ferguson.
Lancashire quick Mahmood kept the NZC batsmen honest, and was on course for an economical debut until Josh Clarkson heaved his last two balls for six.
And Worcestershire's Brown had two catches dropped - both by Mahmood at fine leg, under a swirling gale - before being rewarded for some clever variations with the wicket of Christian Leopard.
'It feels like the start of a journey,' said Bairstow. 'Seeing guys who've played county cricket taking the step up and how they implement their skills is going to be fascinating.'
Bairstow says England will be well prepared for next summer's Twenty20 World Cup
But Bairstow gave short shrift to a question about his axing from the Test squad after a disappointing Ashes. 'Selection is gone now,' he said. 'I've got some things to work on, and I'm really enjoying that challenge.'
Meanwhile, England played down concerns about the state of Morgan's back after he failed to bat during a run chase completed with 11 balls to spare.
Prone to spasm, Morgan nursed the injury throughout the World Cup and continues to manage it, but England insisted the decision to bat the new T20 vice-captain Sam Billings and all-rounder Sam Curran ahead of him was to give them experience for the battles ahead.
Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory and Lancashire leg-spinner Matt Parkinson have been named in tonight’s [Tuesday's] second warm-up game, with Dawid Malan opening in place of the rested Bairstow.