Bairstow wants to resume wicket-keeper role for England

Virginia Santiago
August 31, 2018

England and India are now playing the 4th Test match in the series at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton.India came back strongly in the 3rd Test in Trent Bridge to make the series 2-1.

Jonny Bairstow will play as a specialist batsman in the fourth Test against India that starts at the Ageas Bowl tomorrow, with Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes dropping out of the team.

Pivotal is the word for the fourth Test between England and India at Southampton which gets underway on Thursday.

Whether Jonny Bairstow is fit to play at all, never mind keep wicket, after suffering a broken finger during India s dominant 203-run win in the third Test at Trent Bridge, has still to be decided.

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Root was confident England could put last week´s thumping loss behind them as they went in search of a win that would give them an unassailable 3-1 led in a five-match series.

England included Bairstow in their 14-man squad for the fourth Test, which begins this week, and there is a possibility he could still feature as a specialist batsman.

That meant there was no England recall for James Vince on the Hampshire captain´s home ground. The 36-year-old has already picked up 17 wickets in the series so far and is just six wickets away from levelling Glenn McGrath's tally of 563 Test scalps.

Bairstow, meanwhile, returned to training for the first time since breaking a finger during the third Test in Nottingham. But India's pace pack, led by Jasprit Bumrah, had by then done the damage to leave England feeling grateful that young all-rounder Sam Curran (78), recalled into the side, played positively to take the hosts to 246 all out. One of our big strengths as a squad is our strength of character and at home in particular, we're very good at bouncing back from hard weeks.

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The risk in fielding an injured player was highlighted by India's Mohammed Shami, who said Bairstow would be targeted if he batted at Southampton. We have to do the best thing for this team to win the game. Right now we understand that we are in a very exciting position to have gained momentum at the right time in the series, and to have played like that when 2-0 down when everyone thought that it is going to be a clean sweep or we are going to be rolled over. "You take Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav, whoever the bowler may be, we can do that (attack and contain)", he said.

"There were a lot of questions asked in my early career as a keeper". We have a great opportunity to put that right this time around'.

With the two changes in the England side, Virat Kohli hinted that he is willing to go with an unchanges XI in the pre-match press conference.

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