'I just want to play... I'll do whatever it takes to be back into the team': Jonny Bairstow desires England Test recall after being dropped for New Zealand tour... and he insists his main goal is to regain his spot rather than keep wicket
Jonny Bairstow insists he'll do 'whatever it takes' to regain his spot in the England Test team, irrespective of what role that may actually be.
Bairstow was dropped from the Test squad for the upcoming two-Test tour of New Zealand in late November/early December after an indifferent Ashes this summer.
The 30-year-old averaged just 23.77 runs during the five-Test series with a highest score of 52 across 10 innings against Australia, as England failed to wrestle the urn back following a 2-2 draw.
Jonny Bairstow says his aim is to win a place back in the England squad after being dropped
He was omitted from the Test squad to tour New Zealand this winter after his Ashes struggles
The 30-year-old averaged just 23.77 runs during the five-Test series which England drew 2-2
Bairstow has played 48 of his 69 England Tests as a wicket-keeper but with Jos Buttler set to perform that role in New Zealand he vows that being behind the stumps isn't his main goal.
'I just want to play in the team,' he told Sportsmail exclusively. [I'll do] whatever it takes to be back into the team.
'It is part and parcel of cricket isn't it. It's not the first time I've been dropped so I'll be going away working on my game and trying to get back into the squad.'
Despite his omission, Bairstow was selected for England's Twenty20 party that will face New Zealand in a five-day series ahead of the Test encounters.
And the World Cup winner is looking forward to showcasing his skills with the bat in that format with the hope of forcing his way back into the Test picture for England's tour of South Africa which begins in late December.
Bairstow says regaining the wicket-keeping gloves for England isn't his main priority
'I enjoy my T20. New Zealand is an amazing place to tour and I can't wait to get back out there.
'Absolutely, without a doubt though South Africa is my next goal. It's a fantastic place to play cricket and we want to get back over there. It's an amazing country, an amazing place to play and I have some very fond memories over there.'
Bairstow was speaking to Sportsmail at the launch of The Hundred where the eight franchise teams were unveiled in east London.
The Yorkshireman was selected for the Cardiff-based Welsh Fire with Ben Stokes chosen to represent the Leeds-based Northern Superchargers as the ECB England Men's red ball central contract pick.
And while he won't be playing for his local franchise, Bairstow is relishing calling Sophia Gardens home – a ground where he has enjoyed success with on an international level.
Bairstow will be representing the Welsh Fire in The Hundred which launches next summer
'It's good to know who I am representing. The Welsh Fire have got the orange and red kit and it matches my lid!' he laughs.
'Cardiff is an amazing place to play cricket – I made my debut there for England in 2011 so I've got some very fond memories of playing down there and I'm excited to get going. Gary Kirsten is the head coach so it'll be exciting to work with him and work on my game.
'They [the Welsh] have a very passionate fan base. You see that with their cricket and rugby, so hopefully there will be a large Welsh contingent that supports us.'
The five-week competition will be played at the height of summer, starting July 2020, featuring eight new city-based teams from Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham, Cardiff, Southampton and two in London (Lord's and the Oval).
The new format, which is aimed at enticing a completely new audience to the sport, has had its criticism from traditionalists but Bairstow believes it will be success – especially after England's 50-over World Cup winning exploits this summer.
Despite his Yorkshire roots, Bairstow is looking forward to representing the Cardiff-based side
'It's a new idea but cricket is still the same,' he said of his expectations of The Hundred.
'It's a new idea with new rules but I'm expecting sixes and fours galore, new people to come to watch the games. Fortunately we've got it on terrestrial TV as well which opens it up to a hugely wider audience which is massive.
'We saw the wide reach the World Cup final had and when it was on terrestrial TV. Obviously with this being shorter and finished within three hours, it'll open up it to kids, families and parents that haven't been to the cricket before. They'll then hopefully say "why don't we go!?". You see the colours of the kit, everything about it is fun and vibrant – it's going to be a spectacle.
'I've not started practising just yet [for 10-ball overs], the season has just finished! I'm quite happy just having a think about it with a cup of tea at home.'
Those invested in The Hundred, will be hoping they can sit back with a cup of a tea themselves reflecting on its success come next summer.