ENGLAND coach Chris Silverwood has praised Jonny Bairstow’s performances with the bat in Sri Lanka, but he insists it is the right move to rest the Yorkshire star for the first half of the forthcoming Test series in India.

Bairstow returned to England’s Test team after 12 months away, batting at number three during the 2-0 series victory and posting scores of 47, 35 not out, 28 and 29.

The 31-year-old, from Bradford, batted beautifully against spin and was a guiding hand in both run chases at Galle.

And it is for that reason his omission from the first two Tests in India, starting in Chennai next Friday, has raised a few eyebrows among pundits and supporters alike.

After approximately two weeks at home, Bairstow will fly out to India ahead of the last two Tests and the one-day and T20 series against the same opponents.

He will also play in the following Indian Premier League for Sunrisers Hyderabad, as he did towards the end of last year in the UAE.

“I think he did well (in Sri Lanka),” said Silverwood.

“Jonny asked me the same question, and I said to him, ‘You did very well’.

“I think he went in in some difficult periods of the game and applied himself very well on some testing wickets. I was very pleased with him.

“He will come back into the group and the rest of it will be down to selection. We don’t make any guarantees to anybody. You can’t because you don’t know where you’re going to be at that moment in time.

“But I do think it is right that Jonny has a rest.

“He’s very busy and is a multi-format player, and we’ve got to look after him and give him some time to chill out.”

Not surprisingly, former Yorkshire seamer Silverwood also reserved praise for his captain, Joe Root, after scores of 228 and 186 in Sri Lanka.

“I thought Rooty played beautifully,” he said. “The runs he scored helped us a lot, and his captaincy was excellent.

“He’s moving well, his balance is beautiful, and he’s getting in some great positions. He seems really happy with himself, and why wouldn’t you be.

“The way he batted was an absolute master-class for anybody watching - for our batsmen inside the dressing room and everyone at home aspiring to be a batsman.

“The way he went about building his innings was absolutely superb. He’s worked hard and deserves his success.”

Silverwood has now won four of five Test series in charge as England’s head coach.

He lost his opening series in New Zealand in late 2019 before victories against South Africa and Sri Lanka away and, sandwiched in between, at home to West Indies and Pakistan.

Ahead of England’s bid for a fifth successive series victory, the man nicknamed Spoons added: “I’m loving every minute of it - it’s a dream job.

“But the most pleasing thing for me is seeing the plan we’ve put in place work. We’ve made no secret of it. The plan is to score big first-innings runs and be relentless with the bowling, and that is what we have done.

“We are going past 400 more regularly now, and you see the way we are bowling - we are controlling the run-rate and controlling the game.

“We’ve shown it works out here (in the sub-continent).

“There’s been a lot of talk about spin, but the seamers were outstanding (in Sri Lanka).

“I’ve got a driving passion to help people be the best they can be, and it’s a real privilege to sit where I am at the moment and see the guys do so well.

“There’s a lot of great support around me - we have a great support staff and a great bunch of players. It makes working with them an absolute pleasure.”