England batter Jonny Bairstow is set to miss IPL 2023 as he continues to recover from a freak leg injury. The 33-year-old, who has been absent from the field since the T20 World Cup last year after he damaged his ligament following a slip on the golf course, was a part of the Punjab Kings setup.
Bairstow, who has had a metal plate inserted in his leg, is still a bit away from action according to a report on The Guardian.
The England batter had an ordinary season in 2022 for Punjab Kings, but is easily one of the most reputed ball strikers in the format.
Purchased for a whopping INR 6.25 crores at the IPL 2022 auction, Bairstow was an integral part of Punjab Kings' setup last year and was due to play as big a role this season.
Will Bairstow play the Ashes?
Bairstow will likely make his comeback in county cricket for Yorkshire with an eye on the Ashes for a comeback later this year.
Chances are that Bairstow would be ready in time for the Ashes. The wicketkeeper batter's aggressive batting was a major cog in the new Test mantra followed by England in the Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum regime.
Bairstow's incredible success played a major role in helping England transform into a force in Test cricket of late with the ‘Bazball' at the forefront of their success.
How will Punjab Kings cope with Bairstow's loss?
Punjab Kings have no respite with Bairstow ruled out of the season. They will also be without Mayank Agarwal, who was released ahead of the auction last year. Mayank joined Sunrisers Hyderabad and it suddenly leaves a gaping hole at the top of the order for Punjab Kings.
Shikhar Dhawan is locked in for a spot after being named the skipper, but their new additions are mostly focused on the all-rounder spot with Sam Curran and Sikandar Raza among the fresh options in the squad.
Bairstow was a certain starter in the Punjab Kings setup, but now without Mayank and Bairstow, Dhawan might have to find a new partner at the top.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Prabhsimran Singh are two options to use in a makeshift role, but Punjab will ponder bringing in a late replacement or using someone like Sam Curran at the top in the opener's role.