Tour of Sri Lanka
England have named a 16 man squad for January’s tour of Sri Lanka. Arguably the happiest member of the tour party is Jonny Bairstow, who has been recalled by England for the test tour.
Bairstow last played test cricket in the South Africa Boxing Day last year. The Yorkshire batsman has had a mercurial test career punctuated with highs and lows.
Since making his test debut 8 years ago Bairstow, 31, has batted everywhere from opener to number 7. He has had lean spells with the bat but has 6 test centuries to his name.
One man in no doubt about Bairstow’s talents is former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff. On Sky Sports’ Hussain and Key Cricket Show’ Flintoff said:
“Every time he goes to the crease I feel he’s trying to prove a point that he should be there and I would say he’s in England’s top three batsmen in Test cricket“.
Jonny Bairstow, having been recalled to the test team, now has a point to prove.
White ball success
Bairstow has been a mainstay in England’s white ball sides. He has won the World Cup, cemented himself in the IPL for the Sunrisers Hyderabad and has emerged as England’s best T20 batsman.
Also, read – Top 3 opening partnerships in IPL 2020
In the 2019 Cricket World Cup, Jonny Bairstow scored 532 runs in just 11 innings for England. He averaged 48 and had a strike rate of 93. After losing back-to-back games against Sri Lanka and Australia, England were in real trouble, as it looked as if they may not qualify for the knockouts at one stage.
However, Bairstow scored back-to-back centuries against India and New Zealand and ensured that England did qualify for the semi-finals. Eventually, they won CWC19.
Also, read – Picking England’s all-time ODI XI
Legendary Dallas Cowboys NFL quarterback once said:-
“In any team sport, the best teams have consistency and chemistry”.
Jonny Bairstow has never had a consistent batting position or defined role in test cricket. Giving him the opportunity to bat at number 3 in Sri Lanka, without the gloves, could be a prescient move by England 11 months out from the 2021 Ashes.
With a test batting average of 34 and 70 caps to his name Bairstow is well placed to kick on with his test career.
England’s test squad:
Joe Root (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler (wk), Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes (wk), Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
The first test match between England and Sri Lanka is on the 14th of January 2021 and it takes place in Galle.
How will Jonny Bairstow fare, after being recalled to the test team?
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