As England build towards the 2021/22 Ashes series in Australia, a return for Jonny Bairstow to the Three Lions side will be just the boost the Test team needs.
The 31-year-old has been out of the Test picture for his country for some time, having last featured for England in the longest form of the game back in December 2019. However, the Yorkshireman’s recent performances in white ball cricket have been nothing short of eye-catching, and now Bairstow is pushing towards a seat on the flight to Australia for the next Ashes series.
Sri Lanka Tour a Chance to Impress
England has confirmed their postponed two-Test series against Sri Lanka will now be played in January, having previously being cancelled back in March. Skipper Joe Root and his side are set to leave the UK on 2nd January, before taking part in two Tests against the Sri Lankans in Galle.
All signs indicate Bairstow will have a chance to impress once again for the English Test side, after deciding to pull out of his Big Bash League contract at Melbourne Stars. Having freed himself up, the Yorkshire star looks set to come into the Test squad to fill the void left by the injured Ollie Pope, who is currently side-lined after undergoing a shoulder operation.
Bairstow featuring in a competitive away series allows him the chance to put down a marker ahead of the next Ashes, with England 11/4 with bet365 in the cricket betting to win the 2021/22 series down under. Bairstow has certainly been showing what he is capable of in white ball cricket, after impressing over in South Africa. Plenty of plaudits deservedly came Bairstow’s way after he recorded his highest T20 international score of 86 not out, to help England to a convincing five-wicket victory over the Proteas in their series opener. Performances like that are hard to ignore, and the calls for head coach Chris Silverwood to get Bairstow back in the Test set-up have been growing louder.
Form Coming at the Right Time for Bairstow
It looks like Bairstow has started to find his stride with the bat at the right time, as England and Australia will both have one eye on the next highly-anticipated Ashes series. The Baggy Greens will certainly be battle-hardened for the showdowns with their old rivals, after taking on another formidable Test team in the form of India.
Bairstow is set to feature for England at the T20 World Cup in India next year, with the tournament taking place in October, before the Three Lions head to Australia in December. The World Cup provides Bairstow the chance to impress in a high-pressure situation once again for his country, before the hardest test of all against the Aussies in their own backyard.
Competition for places can only be a good thing for Silverwood, and an on-form Bairstow can only be a good thing for the Test side ahead of an intriguing year in the world of international cricket.