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Jonny Bairstow has time on his side - Ryan Sidebottom
Jonny Bairstow has been tipped to shine when he returns to England colours by Yorkshire team-mate Ryan Sidebottom, but he has been warned that he may have to be patient with regards to regaining his place in all forms of the game.
It seems that the Bradford-born White Rose star’s best chance of regular international cricket will come at Twenty20, and he made 38 in England’s victory in the first match of their current series against New Zealand in Hamilton.
But his biggest battle will come when the one-day and Test series begin on Sunday and in early March respectively.
The 23-year-old missed the recent one-day series in India due to a family illness, and only played one Test in India before Christmas, due largely to Kevin Pietersen’s return to the England set-up.
And Joe Root’s impressive start to life as an international in one-day and Test colours has not helped Bairstow’s chances either.
“I think he’s been a bit unlucky being in and out of the sides through no fault of his own really,” said swing bowler Sidebottom, who was part of England’s last tour to New Zealand in early 2008.
“I was very surprised after the way he played against South Africa at Lord’s in the summer that he didn’t play in the next Test.
“To get 50 and 90 under a lot of pressure and scrutiny, I thought he’d be one of the first names on the team-sheet when it came to India.”
The England management saw it differently, which was a shame for him.
“I do speak to him a lot, and he was a bit upset and down. But he’s a strong character who will come back bigger better.
“He’s still got a lot to learn, but he will do whether it’s with England initially or back here at Yorkshire. He’s got plenty of time and a great career ahead.”
Bairstow played in both T20 warm-up matches against a New Zealand Select XI earlier this week and has played in both T20 internationals so far, the series decider being tomorrow morning.