England rush back Jonny Bairstow to open the batting in must-win T20 clash against New Zealand
Jonny Bairstow is set for an early recall to England’s Twenty20 side as the tourists try to avoid going 3-1 down in Napier on Friday morning.
The original plan, on a tour earmarked by captain Eoin Morgan as a chance to look at the next generation of players, had been to rest Bairstow until the final game of the five-match series in Auckland on Sunday.
But the alarming nature of England’s surrender in sight of victory at Nelson on Tuesday has prompted a rethink, with Bairstow, who missed that match, set to resume at the top of the order and Dawid Malan or James Vince taking a breather.
Jonny Bairstow is set for an early recall to England’s Twenty20 side on Friday morning
If Vince, who was part of a match-losing collapse of five wickets for 10 runs, is rested it would mean all three openers appearing in the same game, with Somerset’s Tom Banton guaranteed selection in the final three matches after making his international debut in Nelson.
Meanwhile, England’s other debutant there, 23-year-old Lancashire leg-spinner Matt Parkinson, explained yesterday how he has tried to overcome the recent death of his mother, Maria, at the age of just 50.
‘The summer was tragic for me and my family and I like to think that I’ve used what happened in July to spur me on,’ he said. ‘If I hadn’t used it in a positive way, then I don’t think I’d be here playing for England.’
Parkinson, whose twin Callum plays for Leicestershire, learned of his mother’s death after taking 10 wickets in his county’s Championship win over Sussex at Old Trafford and recently told Sportsmail: ‘I am sure she will be looking down with immense pride and be with me in New Zealand.’
Leg-spinner Matt Parkinson claimed his first international wicket in the third T20 international
Though he was limited to two overs in Nelson because the wind changed direction, leaving him vulnerable to New Zealand’s big-hitting left-hander Jimmy Neesham, Parkinson still collected his first international scalp, bowling Tim Seifert between his legs as he got into a tangle trying a reverse sweep.
Colin de Grandhomme did hit Parkinson for a straight six but he conceded only eight from his other 11 balls and continued the good impression he made during one of the warm-up games in Lincoln.
Parkinson is also part of the Test squad for the two-match series starting on November 20, despite a c.v. that includes only 20 first-class games. Those games have yielded 62 wickets at 25 apiece, and he said: ‘I haven’t played a great deal of domestic red-ball cricket, but when I have played for Lancashire I’ve performed well. England have seen something that they like, too.’
The tourists’ first task, though, is to take the Twenty20 series to a decider at Eden Park. It will be made no easier by the return of New Zealand’s world-class left-arm seamer Trent Boult.