Bairstow proud to be asked to bat at five
England wicketkeeper batsman Jonny Bairstow says he feels proud to be asked to move up into the number five position in England’s batting lineup.
Bairstow has been among England’s most consistent batsman but has often found himself running out of established partners while batting at six or seven.
Speaking after being named in England’s squad for the first Test against Pakistan, Bairstow said: “I’m very proud to be asked to move up the order.
“It means the people in charge have got belief in me to go out and deliver.
“They are asking for a little extra from me. They are saying ‘we want you to do this, we trust you, we believe in you.’ And that’s what you want. You want the captain, coach and head selectors to back you.”
Bairstow hopes to continue his habit of standing up to the challenges presented to him with aplomb.
He added: “Extra responsibility is definitely something I’ve taken on board.
“In the past whenever a challenge is thrown at me I like to think I have stepped up and risen to it and taken those challenges in my stride. That’s exactly what I’ll be trying to do now and I don’t think moving up will affect me in any way. I will relish it.”
With five Test tons to his name and an average of a shade under 40 after 52 Tests, Bairstow sees moving up the order as the next phase of a dream start to his career at the highest level.
Bairstow is determined to hang on to the keeping gloves but isn’t going to lose sleep over the presence of Jos Buttler in the squad and Ben Foakes on the fringes.
He added: “I think there’s an understanding between us that either of us could take the gloves on any given day but at the same time I’d like to think my keeping has gone from strength to strength and that hard work doesn’t stop.
If I drop a chance I’m not going to be thinking ‘oh blooming heck’ I might be catching 500 to 600 balls a day and realistically there are going to be half chances that are bouncing in front of slip.
“You’re going to be tired at the end of a Test no matter what so batting at five or seven doesn’t make too much difference to me. It’s what you put all the hard work into your fitness and preparation for.
“When I first came into the side Matt Prior was keeper and scoring runs so that allowed us to play extra batters. Hopefully that’s the case again now
“It’s exciting because you’ve got game changers all the way down.
“We could bat through a day, be five down, and then next morning you’ve got Jos and Stokes walking out to bat.
“If you’re a tired bowler you’re going to get punished at some point and that’s the nature of the players we have in the side. That’s the way we should be looking at playing.”
The first Test against Pakistan starts on May 24 at Lord’s.
England staring at New Zealand series defeat after day three of second Test
Sri Lanka were the last touring side to deal England a bloody nose on their own soil.
Chris Silverwood admits England’s performance is not good enough in second Test
The game was all but lost by stumps with the scoreboard reading 122 for nine.
England collapse leaves dominant New Zealand on brink of memorable series win
England have not lost a home series since 2014.
New Zealand on top in second Test after England openers fall
A last-wicket partnership had earlier helped hand the Black Caps a handy lead.
New Zealand move into lead as England struggle in the field
The Black Caps were 74 behind at the start of play and 23 ahead as they reached lunch on 326 for five.
Chris Woakes makes long-awaited return to England’s Twenty20 squad
David Willey and Liam Dawson are also included.
ECB to undertake social media review following emergence of offensive posts
The ECB said the review would ‘address any historical issues’.
Laurie Evans and Sam Curran’s century stand inspires Surrey to another Blast win
Curran’s career-best 72 not out featured six maximums and five other boundaries.
Ebony Rainford-Brent praises ECB stance on historical racist and sexist tweets
Sussex seamer Robinson has issued an apology for posts he sent in 2012 and 2013.
England frustrated by umpiring decision before Dan Lawrence’s late breakthrough
An unexpected breakthrough off the final ball of the day raising the home side’s flagging spirits.