English selector Ed Smith believes Jonny Bairstow will come back strong after being left out of the test squad for New Zealand.
Bairstow has played 69 Tests and passed 50 with the bat just twice since the Sri Lanka Test in November 2018. While noting that he has had a very busy summer, Ed said it is an opportunity the Yorkshire player to step back, reset and come back better.
Smith has therefore given Matthew Parkinson, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, and Saqib Mahmood an opportunity to make their debut for England. Bairstow, who is a Wicketkeeper, averages 20.25 in Tests this year.
Speaking to BBC Sport, the selector explained that he didn’t want to restrict Bairstow to a specialist batsman role on his return to the team, but want to expand them. Speaking further, Smith praised the Wicketkeeper who averages 50 in first-class cricket, non-Test match cricket, saying such stat are exceptional numbers.
“But I think what we’ve seen recently in an England shirt is not a reflection of what he can do,” he added.
24-year-old Sibley, who is the only batsman to make more than 1,000 runs in Division One of the County Championship this season, will compete for places at the top of the order with Kent batsman Crawley who is highly regarded with 820 to his credit runs this summer.
Pace bowler Mahmood, who gives back-up to a fast bowling unit that is without the injured trio of James Anderson, will partner leg-spinner Parkinson to provide bowling cover.
England will play two Tests in New Zealand. The first begins on November 20 after a five-match Twenty20 series. The team will then move on to South Africa in December before two Tests in Sri Lanka in the spring.
England squad for two Tests in New Zealand: Joe Root (Yorkshire) captain, Jofra Archer (Sussex), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Jack Leach (Somerset), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Dominic Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).
England squad for five T20s in New Zealand: Eoin Morgan (Middlesex) captain, Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Tom Banton (Somerset), Sam Billings (Kent), Pat Brown (Worcestershire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Tom Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Lewis Gregory (Somerset), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Dawid Malan (Middlesex), Matt Parkinson (Lancashire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), James Vince (Hampshire).
England are fancied at 4.55 to win the upcoming Twenty 20 Cricket World Cup, while rivals India are backed at 4.30
Written by: Oladipupo Mojeed