Jason Gillespie says Jonny Bairstow’s rivals for the England Test wicketkeeper’s spot will have to do something special to usurp him for the opening Test against Sri Lanka in June.
Yorkshire coach Gillespie’s comments came after Bradford-born Bairstow scored an excellent 123 during the final day of Yorkshire’s drawn three-day friendly against Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities at Headingley.
There has been widespread talk that Bairstow will be one of the fall guys from the Test team after the disastrous Ashes campaign, in which he played the final two Tests.
If you believe the pundits, Matt Prior and Jos Buttler are ahead of him. Gillespie certainly doesn’t.
He said: “I don’t quite subscribe to that (view). Jonny, at the moment, is the Test keeper. He has just punched out another hundred here and he has kept very well.
“I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t be in that first Test. With all due respect to other players, what have they done to make the selectors change their mind on Jonny?
“He’s played two Test matches as keeper and he certainly didn’t disgrace himself. In fact, he got better as each innings went on. There’s going to have be some very good explaining as to why Jonny’s not going to keep in that first Test if he doesn’t.”
Bairstow’s 156-ball innings included 12 fours and three sixes as Yorkshire made 454 in reply to 139.
Leeds/Bradford were 63-2 in their second innings when bad light prevented any play after tea.