Mumbai, PTI. In the 15th season of the Indian Premier League, wicket-keeper batsman Jani Bairstow, playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad, got a bang on Friday against Royal Challengers Bangalore. He hasn’t opened the innings in many matches for England recently, but he is enjoying the role of an opener for Punjab Kings in the ongoing IPL.

Bairstow smashed 66 runs in just 29 balls with the help of four fours and seven sixes as Punjab Kings beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 54 runs. Bairstow said, ‘I am happy with the way I have adjusted to the opener. I am really enjoying playing at the top of the order again.

Bairstow arrived late for the current tournament and initially batted in the middle order where he struggled to get into his rhythm. The team management then gave him a chance to bat in the top order and captain Mayank Agarwal decided to bat in the middle order. Bairstow could only manage one run in the first match as an opener against Gujarat Titans but after that he returned to form with 56 against Rajasthan Royals and then 66 on Friday.

In the last two years, Bairstow has batted in the middle order most of the time in T20 Internationals for England but has also opened the innings in some matches. Bairstow also plays the role of wicketkeeper when Jos Buttler is not playing. Bairstow said, ‘Playing for England and playing here are different. For England in the middle order, I have to play a different role and here you can see the statistics that I am enjoying opening the innings.

Edited By: Viplove Kumar