Bairstow: I’m still desperate to try to keep my place as ‘keeper

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England’s Jonny Bairstow is “desperate” to remain England’s preferred Test wicketkeeper-batsman.

Bairstow sustained a finger injury during the third Test against India at Trent Bridge in Southampton.

Coach Trevor Bayliss has since suggested he play as a specialist batsman – and leave the wicketkeeping duties to the talented Jos Buttler for the remainder of the series and foreseeable future.

“The finger feels good. The swelling’s gone down and it’s a lot better than I thought it was going to be,” said Bairstow.

“I want to play so if I’m not able to keep wicket I’d like to think I can play as a specialist batsman. I’m still desperate to try to keep my place as the ‘keeper.”

The decision would likely see the right-handed Bairstow moved up the batting order, ahead of the inexperienced Ollie Pope.

“I’ve not really batted higher than five for Yorkshire. If you look at the stats they suggest I’m better if I keep wicket as well. I’d like to keep my spot as keeper because I like to think it’s gone well over the last 38 or 39 Tests since I’ve been keeping for England,” he added.

“There are obviously conversations to be had but, at this moment in time, I was asked if I was comfortable batting at five and keeping and it’s been successful.”

The fourth Test will get underway at the Rose Bowl on Thursday. The hosts have a two-nil lead in the five-match series.

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