Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Bairstow eyes England wicketkeeper role

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LONDON: Jonny Bairstow believes he can regain his role as England s Test wicketkeeper as players prepare to go head-to-head for a place in the side to face the West Indies.

England are gearing up for a three-Test series against the Caribbean side next month that will mark the return of international cricket after the coronavirus shutdown.

With no first-class matches in the run-up to the series, they will use warm-up games at Southampton, the venue for the first Test, starting on July 8, to assess players  form.

Bairstow was dropped from last year s tour of New Zealand, with England selection chief Ed Smith indicating his international future was as a specialist batsman.

He played just one Test in South Africa in December and was rested from the tour of Sri Lanka, with long-time rival wicketkeeper Jos Buttler and gloveman Ben Foakes selected instead, before the coronavirus cut short that trip in March.

But while the 30-year-old multi-format international said he wanted to play Test cricket again, he also made clear his preferred role.

“Over a period of time, I ve been really happy with my  keeping,” Bairstow said Tuesday in a conference call.

“That was the bit at the start of my career that people questioned but people have stopped speaking about it over the last couple of years.

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