Jonny Bairstow will get gloves and bat at number five when England face India in the fifth and final Test at The Oval. Moeen Ali will move up to number three and skipper Joe Root will bat at number four.
On Bairstow, Root told the media, “He has been the Test keeper for some time. It is no reflection of how Jos kept. It is also long term looking at the team’s schedule in all international cricket. Jonny deserves the opportunity to keep wicket.”
At the same time, Root admitted Bairstow needs to improve his game all-round. “Jonny will have to keep working hard, and keep improving. It is not just keeping, but his whole game,” the skipper said.
Root further hoped the final Test will be a fitting farewell for Alastair Cook. “I have seen it coming for a while (big score from Cook). If it does it will be a real high on a personal note. I hope he soaks up everything that comes this week and go out and score a century.”
There can be no greater motivation for the group. As a team we want to give him the best opportunity to celebrate and finish a fabulous career,” Root said in praise of Cook.
--By A Cricket Correspondent