Bairstow: I am pleased with the way I have kept wicket

England

England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow is willing and able, if required for the Ashes series opener.

England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow is willing and able, if required for the Ashes series opener.

Bairstow scored 48 in a final total of 418 all out and took a catch during the Cricket Australia Invitational XI's reply of 153 for four on day three of an important four-day tour fixture at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.

The right-handed Bairstow, too, will be named in the Test XI if vice-captain Matt Proir doesn't recover from a calf injury ahead of Thursday's start in Brisbane.

"It is exciting. I am pleased with the way I have kept wicket over the last couple of days and it is good to get the miles in the legs," <i>Sky Sports.</i> quoted Bairstow as saying.

"There's nothing like keeping for a full day, you can do as much fitness as you like but keeping in this heat and getting used to the conditions out here is important.

"If that opportunity does come along I am confident I can take it. But at the end of the day we are all hoping that Matt is going to be fit.

"The medical team are keeping things close to their chests but Matt seems fine and is as chirpy as ever."

The talented Bairstow cherished a fine vigil on Friday, striking five boundaries during a superb 106-run partnership alongside half-centurion Joe Root.

"Personally it was really good to spend some time out at the middle," he added. "Overall it was pleasing to get out there and hit the ball in the middle of the bat.

"The main thing is spending the time out there. It is good to be out there in a match situation, putting scores on the board that have hopefully put us in a strong position."

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