Jonny Bairstow’s hopes of retaining his place as England’s wicketkeeper by impressing behind the stumps for Yorkshire may have suffered a setback when the 24-year-old injured a finger in today’s three-day practice match against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

Bairstow left the field after taking a painful blow when attempting to take a ball down the leg side from Liam Plunkett and he handed the gloves to Olly Robinson.

Tonight it emerged that, although the Yorkshire keeper has had an X-ray, the precise extent and seriousness of the damage will not be known until he has seen a specialist in Leeds.

Ironically, Bairstow sustained his injury shortly after stating his belief that keeping wicket to Yorkshire’s powerful seam attack may help him realise his England ambitions this summer.

The highly-regarded wicketkeeper-batsman took the gloves for the last two Ashes Tests in the winter and is keen to hang on to the gauntlets against Sri Lanka and India this summer.

But he is also deeply ambitious for Yorkshire and maintains there is a link between his aims for county and country.

“Standing behind the stumps to an attack like ours certainly keeps you on your toes and it lessens the jump up if I am chosen to keep for England,” he said.

“Our pace bowlers offer a great deal and it’s going to be a tough job for any side to face them.”

On the field today, Yorkshire’s bowlers enjoyed exactly the sort of tough practice they needed as they prepared for Sunday’s LV= County Championship Divison One opener against Somerset at Taunton.

Adil Rashid took 2-65 and Steve Patterson 2-51 on a day when Northamptonshire’s top order batted responsibly to guide their side to 283-5 at close of play.