8:20pm Monday 5th May 2014
By Graham Hardcastle
Jonny Bairstow believes he has to replicate the kind of innings he played for Yorkshire today in an England shirt if he is to have a prolonged Test future.
The 24-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman impressed with 95 off 161 balls in the White Rose side’s mammoth 589-8 declared just before tea on day two of their LV= County Championship match at Durham.
The total also included a gutsy 124 off 231 balls for captain Andrew Gale – his 16th first-class hundred – who is back in the side after dropping himself last week.
Durham then replied with 62-1 from 19 overs before bad light stopped play early, with Ryan Sidebottom taking the only wicket.
Despite Gale’s effort being the top score of Yorkshire’s innings, all the focus was on Bairstow and his bid to retain his Test place behind the stumps for the Sri Lanka series next month.
He is not keeping in this match, having broken a finger nearly four weeks ago, but he is expected to be fit enough to take the gloves this weekend against Warwickshire.
Bairstow has not done himself justice in 14 Test matches so far. He has only scored four fifties, with two of them coming against South Africa at Lord’s in August 2012 when he scored 95 and 54.
Asked what he needs to do to retain his place and then stay in the team, he said: “I just need to play a bit more like that if I’m honest. That’s something I haven’t necessarily done.
“I’ve not necessarily gone out and played the way Jonny Bairstow has done in county cricket. That’s something I want to do a bit more. The way I played at Lord’s against South Africa in the first and second innings was how I want to go about my cricket.”
Bairstow, unluckily out lbw, and Gale shared 198 inside 45 overs for the fourth wicket. They came together late on day one and batted until after lunch today.
Adil Rashid also hit 68 before the declaration came just after tea. Sidebottom later had Keaton Jennings caught behind.
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