Does Bairstow have an England future?

October 8, 2019 4:29 pm

Despite his underwhelming form with the bat in the Ashes, Jonny Bairstow would have been confident of being named in England’s squad for their winter tour after being named as one of the 10 players to be awarded with a test contract. As it turned out, though, Bairstow was dropped from England’s Test side ahead of their tour of New Zealand, with the Yorkshireman now facing a battle on his hands to get himself back into the squad. With Jos Buttler set to take over the keeping gloves and be given an extended run, the only way back for Bairstow, at the moment, appears to be as a specialist batsman. 

With Bairstow missing out, England’s selectors have handed first call-ups to Dominic Sibley and Zak Crawley, who have both impressed in the country game over the past couple of years. As England look to plan for the new Ashes cycle ahead of the 2021/22 series in Australia, Bairstow’s hopes of being on that plane down under may now come down to his form for Yorkshire and a bit of luck – quite a comedown for a player who has been an England regular for the last five years. 

England batsmen Jonny Bairstow and Ben S” (CC BY 2.0) by Ben Sutherland

While in the shorter format of the game Bairstow remains as one of the best batsmen in the world, scoring over 500 runs and playing a crucial role in England’s World Cup win last summer. In Test cricket, however, Bairstow’s stats speak volumes, averaging just 20.25 over the past 12 months. However, Bairstow made a huge impression in his debut season in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2019, scoring 445 runs at an average of 55, for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, who are currently around 4/1 in the latest cricket betting odds to win the IPL in 2020. 

But despite the obvious benefits that come with playing in the IPL, Bairstow will be targeting a place in the England squad that look to reclaim the Ashes in Australia in late 2021. For now, though, a period of rest is definitely on the cards for a man who has played in all formats of the game for England for much of the past five years. After that, the best thing Bairstow can do is perform at a high level for Yorkshire next summer and wait to see how the new players have blended into the England squad. At 30, time is still on his side, and Bairstow has proven before that he plays at his best when he’s being doubted.  For England, the only thing on their minds will be bouncing back from the disappointment of drawing the Ashes by beating New Zealand and then South Africa during the winter. With very winnable series’ against the West Indies and Pakistan at home next summer; by this time next year, England could once again be the number-one Test team in the world – with a heavy emphasis on the could. At the end of the day, England fans won’t mind who is in the team if they can do that.

%d bloggers like this: