Uncertainty looms over Jonny Bairstow’s wicketkeeping role in England’s tour of India

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Jonny Bairstow may lose his role as England’s wicketkeeper in their five-Test series in India, with Ben Foakes recalled to the 16-man squad. England will fly to the UAE ahead of the first Test in Hyderabad on January 25. Bairstow kept wicket in all six Tests of England’s 2023 home summer but is not guaranteed to start with the gloves in India. He started the Ashes with a performance at Edgbaston but improved, finishing with 23 catches and a stumping.
Rob Key, England’s managing director, said selection decisions will be made based on the “balance of the side… all kinds of contributing factors” and highlighted the differences between keeping wicket in England and India.
Bairstow said in an interview with Sky Sports that he has not spoken to anyone about the wicketkeeping decision and is happy with where he’s at, whether he’s keeping, batting, or whatever it is. Foakes kept wicket in three of England’s four Tests in their most recent India series and was first-choice wicketkeeper before losing his place last summer. He was recalled last month for the India tour.
After England’s exit from the World Cup, Key urged Bairstow to “get himself into a position where he can take on an Indian Test”. Bairstow said the past six weeks were valuable in continuing to recover from an injury. He’s been training hard in the gym and spending time with family, ensuring his ankle is in good shape.
Bairstow made three ducks in four innings on England’s 2021 India tour and warned India that preparing similar surfaces might neutralize their seam attack. He said England’s task will be to adapt to whatever conditions they face.

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