Renewed support for Bairstow

England

County coach Jason Gillespie has implored England to select the talented Jonny Bairstow as wicketkeeper-batsman for the Test series against Sri Lanka next month.

County coach Jason Gillespie has implored England to select the talented Jonny Bairstow as wicketkeeper-batsman for the Test series against Sri Lanka next month.

The veteran Matt Prior is unlikely to retain the position amid the team's numerous changes, including the exiling of batsman Kevin Pietersen, hiring of new head coach Peter Moores and assistant coach Paul Farbrace, in the wake of a five-nil series defeat to Australia earlier this year.

Bairstow, since returning from a finger injury, has gathered a promising stretch of form with the bat for Yorskhire in the County Championship – and proved solid as a Division One wicketkeeper.

"Look, the way I see it, it's pretty black and white. Jonny is the current Test 'keeper – simple. Explain to me what anyone else has done to allow them to not pick him? That's where I stand," said Yorskhire head coach Gillespie.

"All things being equal, Jonny should be afforded that opportunity. Jonny could be a very dynamic player coming in at number seven for England – that could be a role for him."

The 24-year-old Bairstow will face stiff competition from limited-overs wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Butler, Prior and a slew of uncapped hopefuls across the county circuit – such as Essex's Ben Foakes.

"Jonny is a naturally aggressive batsman in any situation and will always look to take the positive option. For me, England are on an absolute winner with him coming in at number seven – that's as good as it gets really. To have someone as devastating as that who can turn games so quickly is a massive bonus," added Gillespie.

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