Bairstow ‘unrecognisable’ in current form


England captain Alastair Cook was giddy with delight at the prospect of having Jonny Bairstow join the batting line up for the third Ashes Test, saying the Yorkshireman was in the form not seen before from him.

Bairstow has scored five centuries, including a double, in the County Championship this season, and averages more than 100, and was thus picked to replace a slightly out of form Gary Ballance for the Edgbaston clash.

Cook said that while Bairstow had always been talented, he'd never been in such good nick, and was confident the number five would make a great impact against the Aussies.

Cook said: "Jonny couldn't be in a better place. I guess that's what happens when you're averaging 100.

"I haven't seen him play for Yorkshire but I did when he toured the Caribbean with us and played for St Kitts in a mixed warm-up and got a brilliant 90.

"His game has improved unrecognisably from where he was before. Players are allowed to improve, but we have to remember that he got a really good 90 and 50 against a good pace attack against South Africa in 2012.

"Jonny's knocked the door down with his weight of runs for Yorkshire in Division One, they're top of the league and he's still averaging over 100 which is fantastic cricket at any level. He's raring to go."