Jonny Bairstow, the lively middle order batsman from Yorkshire has been named in England’s squad for the third Ashes test. Bairstow is named at the expense of Gary Ballance, who endured a difficult Lord’s test and was found wanting against the Australian pacers.
Bairstow’s recent form for Yorkshire was the main reason behind his selection. The axing of Gary Ballance means that it will be Ian Bell who will be promoted to the number 3 slot. Joe Root will move up to 4, while Bairstow will bat at 5. Bairstow played his last test for England against Australia in Sydney in January 2014.
“Gary was naturally disappointed to miss out on this occasion, however we feel that he will benefit from some time in county cricket to rediscover his form,” James Whitaker, the national selector, said. “He has already had plenty of success at international level and, as selectors, we are confident Gary will play a significant role for England in the future,” said Whitaker.
“The break ahead of the third Test will give the squad time to reflect on the series so far and a chance to focus on playing the positive, confident cricket we saw in Cardiff,” Whitaker said. “For the third Test Ian Bell will move up the order to bat at three followed by Joe Root with Jonny Bairstow coming in at five. Jonny has worked extremely hard at his game and his record for Yorkshire speaks for itself. He fully deserves this opportunity,” said Whitaker.
Adam Lyth, the underperforming partner of Alastair Cook has been given another lifeline after a string of failures.
England squad for the third test:
Alastair Cook (c), Adam Lyth, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson, Adil Rashid, Steven Finn