Jonny Bairstow breaks silence on England Test axe following difficult Ashes
Jonny Bairstow has vowed to ‘come back stronger and better’ after being dropped from England’s Test squad for the upcoming tour to New Zealand.
The wicketkeeper-batsman averaged less than 24 with the bat in this summer’s Ashes series and has been urged to ‘reset’ by national selector Ed Smith.
In 69 Tests, Bairstow has scored over 4,000 runs and six hundreds at an average of 35, but his red-ball form has deteriorated over the past 18 months.
‘It’s obviously disappointing not to be on the tour,’ Bairstow told Sky Sports.
‘But at the same time it gives you a chance to have a training period. It’s quite rare you get that time to go away and work on your game.
‘So it’s a fantastic opportunity for me to do that. I want to come back stronger and better. It’s not the first time it’s happened [being dropped by England].
‘I’m not the kind of person to rest on their laurels. It will be case of dusting myself down, having a couple of weeks off, reflecting on the summer and then getting back to it.’
Bairstow starred in England’s triumphant World Cup campaign at the start of the summer, scoring over 500 runs and two centuries as the hosts lifted the trophy for the first time in history.
He struggled against Australia’s brilliant pace attack in the Ashes, however, and Jos Buttler will keep for England’s Test team in New Zealand.
England hero Ben Stokes believes ‘world class’ Bairstow will respond well to being dropped and reclaim his place in the side.
‘International sport is hard, this is the highest level,’ he said this week. ‘Jonny is a world class player and he’s gone thorough ha difficult time this summer.
‘But the saying “form is temporary, class is permanent” is definitely one Jonny needs to stick by. We have seen what he’s capable of doing.
‘Everyone goes through ups and downs throughout their career. Hopefully Jonny will learn from this, go away and work on what he’s been told to work on.
‘I’ve got no doubt that Jonny will be a permanent fixture in this Test team going forward because he is a world class player.’
Andrew Strauss, the former England captain, has also backed Bairstow to revive his Test career, telling Metro.co.uk: ‘Personally, I think Jonny could do with a break.
‘We have seen with Jonny in the past that when he’s got a point to prove he comes back strong and I expect him to do that again.’