Jonny Bairstow is determined to continue the fine run of form which earned him a call-up to England’s Test squad for the third Investec Ashes Test.
Bairstow’s average in excess of 100 with the bat in seven LV= County Championship Division One matches has prompted the selectors to include the 25-year-old in the 13-man squad to face Australia at Edgbaston next week.
Yorkshire team-mate Gary Ballance makes way in the only change to the line-up, as it was confirmed Ian Bell would move up to bat at three for the game at his home ground, with Joe Root and Bairstow at four and five in the order respectively.
Bairstow played the last of his 14 Tests 18 months ago in the reverse series to Australia, but made a spectacular return to the one-day side last month with a match-winning 83 not out sealing a thrilling series victory over New Zealand.
His returns for Yorkshire have been even more impressive, having registered 906 runs, including a double century, four hundreds and three fifties, scores that have earned him a return to England’s Test team.
“I am very pleased to have been called up,” Bairstow said. “I’m pretty pleased with the form I’m in but it’s obviously going to be different challenges and expectations.
“It might be completely different next week – I might get no runs, I might get some runs – who knows.
“I’m really pleased to have scored the runs that I have and I’ll hopefully stay in that kind of form for the rest of the season, and longer.”
Bairstow has some sympathy for Ballance, who has made four centuries in his 15 Tests but has struggled for form this summer, yielding just 134 runs in eight innings.
However, Bairstow’s main focus is nailing down a regular spot in the team for himself.
“I’m disappointed for Gaz who has had to drop out,” Bairstow said. “But it’s something that’s quite exciting and I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into.”
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