Boucher: Bairstow has a big future as a keeper


Former South Africa wicketkeeper Mark Boucher has urged the England selectors to stick with Jonny Bairstow behind the stumps despite the gloveman dropping at least one chance in the every Test in the current series.

The 26 year-old Bairstow, who only recently ousted Jos Buttler from the keeper position in the Test side, has looked good with the bat but unconvincing behind stumps in the four-match series against the Proteas, which England has already won.

The Yorkshireman's displays behind the stumps has led some to say that he should play as a specialist batsman and Buttler should return to the starting team.

The 39 year-old Boucher, who has a record 999 dismissals as a keeper in international cricket before retiring due to an eye injury in 2012, says that it would be a risk to drop Bairstow and could dent his confidence.

Boucher told Press Association Sport: "I think there's a big future for him at this level but he has to be as mentally tough as possible in the face of criticism.

"I don't think he needs big technical changes, they are all pretty small. It's more the mental aspect of getting over one or two dropped catches as quick as he can and not letting them affect the next one.

"The step up to Test keeping is quite big and he needs to close that gap but his attitude is good enough for him to do it. Is he worth having in this England side? Absolutely.

"You don't want to mess around with his head and drop him now. That's a dangerous move to make because it risks showing a lack of confidence in a youngster's game.

"There is some room for improvement there. He's not a natural keeper but he's proved he has the goods with the bat and there is more than enough talent there for him to become a very, very good allrounder for England."