England selector Ed Smith
England selector Ed Smith

Bairtsow will come back stronger: England selector Ed Smith

ANI | Updated: Sep 24, 2019 09:06 IST

Dubai [UAE], Sept 24 (ANI): After leaving Jonny Bairstow out of the Test squad for the series against New Zealand, England selector Ed Smith backed the wicket-keeper batsman to come back stronger and become a top Test player for the side.
"I do not think it is a bad thing that every now and then people have an opportunity to reset and I think this will do Jonny good. And I think it will do England well. And my prediction is he comes back stronger," International Cricket Council (ICC) quoted Smith as saying.
"Currently for whatever reason it might be, whether it's the white ball, whether it's a busy schedule, whatever it might be, whether it's keeping wicket [we're not getting the most out of him]. Park all that, I don't have an explanation, but I do have an aspiration and my aspiration is that Jonny becomes a top, top Test match batsman," he added.
Bairstow has found the going tough with the bat in the longest format of the game as he averages just 25.91 since the start of 2018.
The wicket-keeper batsman has become a top limited-overs player for the team but there is no reason why he has struggled in the Test format.
"I wouldn't be looking to narrow his options but I would be looking to have a very open conversation with him. I would say the primary issue which I discussed briefly with Jonny today and I will be discussing again when I meet up with him face to face, is getting the most out of him as a batsman," Smith said.
"The important thing to focus on there is Jonny was picked as a batsman for England in 2012, as the outstanding young batsman in England. He has a non Test match first-class average of 50, which puts him alongside Joe Root; only Ollie Pope is above those two. And in the period of time that he has been an England player, his non-Test match first-class average is 57. I think there's a real opportunity for him to reset and focus on how he can go about becoming that really top Test match player," he added.
The 29-year-old has made a reputation of being a player who responds to setbacks well.
When he was not chosen for the series against Sri Lanka in 2018, he responded by making a century in his first innings at number three position.
In the Men's Cricket World Cup too, he responded to media criticism with two consecutive centuries.
England takes on New Zealand in a five-match T20I series and two-match Test series.
The Three Lions' 15-man T20I squad for the series against Kiwis: Eoin Morgan (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Pat Brown, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Lewis Gregory, Chris Jordan, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, James Vince.
England 15-man Test squad: Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dominic Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.
The Test series would not be a part of the World Test Championship and the first match will be played from November 21-25. (ANI)