Bairstow hopes England's 50-over revolution can spur them on to T20 World Cup title
England named five new faces in their T20I squad to face New Zeland, with seniors Jason Roy, Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali being rested for the white-ball leg of the tour. Bairstow, however, is a part of the T20I mix, and with the 20-over showcase less than a year away, competition for spots is high, with fresh talent coming in.
"I think it does feel like the start of that journey towards the T20 World Cup," Bairstow said, after top-scoring with a 45-ball 78* in England's six-wicket win in a warm-up fixture against a New Zealand XI. "It's going to come around thick and fast. Seeing guys who've played county cricket taking the step up to international cricket is going to be fascinating. That, coupled with the guys that are not on this tour but will come back into the team, there's going to be competition for places."
England won their maiden 50-over World Cup title in July this year, after a thrilling final against New Zealand at Lord's, and Bairstow hoped that his side's 50-over success could spur them on to T20 World Cup glory next year in Australia.
"The cycle for the 50-over World Cup started four years ago," he said. "Hopefully, we're fortunate enough that the way we've played our 50-over cricket will lead us well into our T20 cricket.
"It's a fascinating period to be playing cricket for England. There's some very, very talented guys that have played a lot of cricket now for England that are all together and have the experience of going through the ups, the downs and everything in between."
New Zealand will be without the services of their regular skipper Kane Williamson, who will miss the T20Is due to hip injury. Bairstow said that the series would still be as challenging, and that after the World Cup heartbreak, the hosts would have "a hunger to put things right".
The rapid Lockie Ferguson made his return from injury on Sunday, taking 3/32 against the England XI 🚀— ICC (@ICC) October 28, 2019
Who else is looking forward to watching him play in the T20I series? pic.twitter.com/8KUdHVX6Yu
"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 there will be a fire in their belly and a hunger to put things right.''
England will play five T20Is against New Zealand, with the first game due to be played on Friday, 1 November. The series will be followed by two Tests later that month.