jonny bairstow
Jonny Bairstow (AFP Photo)

For the time being, it seems Ben Foakes will be handling the wicketkeeping duties for England in Test cricket meaning the previous first-choice Jonny Bairstow will have to slot in as purely a batsman.

Foakes made quite an impression in his debut Test series in Sri Lanka which England won 3-0. Bairstow, who had picked an injury during the preceding Sri Lanka ODIs had to wait till the third Test to get a look in. He was asked to bat at the problematic no. 3 spot which no England batsmen since the retirement of Jonathan Trott has been able to make his own.

Bairstow though gave a solid account of him with an emotional century in Colombo and he’ll look to seal the position in the upcoming three-Test series in West Indies.

Despite his role now limited to a batting specialist, the 29-year-old hasn’t given up on keeping. “Down the line you want to be doing something you’ve done the last 10-15 years of your career,” Bairstow was quoted as saying by yorkpress.co.uk on Friday. “I’ve not stopped practising my keeping, not by any means, because we’ve all seen how quickly things change. Whether it be [batting] at three or whether it be keeping wicket you want to be playing in the team, winning series and Test matches for England.”

During his 60-Test career, Bairstow has batted at various positions and has no qualms over his changing role. “At three you’re probably going to be facing the new ball, fresher bowlers on fresher pitches, so there will be a bedding in period and you might not get it right every time because it will be different to five, six or seven,” he said.

He continued, “I’ve batted in a lot of positions in the last few years. I’d still have my head in a load of books if I thought too much about the stats for every position but for me it’s a case of going out and doing what I need to do and trying to adapt again to a different role in the side.”

Bairstow missed a century by two runs on day one of England’s second warm-up match against the Cricket West Indies President’s XI at Three Ws Oval on Thursday in a score of 379-all out.

“It was good fun out there and nice to spend some time in the middle. It was a confidence booster leading into next week and the Test series,” Bairstow said of his innings.