Uncapped Bairstow Included In England Test Squad

Uncapped Bairstow Included In England Test Squad
Uncapped Bairstow Included In England Test Squad
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Yorkshire batsman Jonathan Bairstow has been named in England's 13-man Test squad ahead of the opening game against the West Indies at Lord's.

Bairstow is likely  to replace Samit Patel at number six after Ravi Bopara suffered a grade one thigh muscle tear and was ruled out.

Patel had been drafted in to replace Bopara, who suffered another injury during England's winter programme.

Bairstow has been in impressive form for Yorkshire this season, hitting 357 runs in four first-class matches with two centuries and he also scored 50 for the England Lions against the touring side at Northampton.

"This is an important period for us following a challenging winter where we learnt some valuable lessons and we are preparing for a highly competitive series against a West Indies side full of quality players," national selector Geoff Miller said.

"We have selected a very strong 13-man squad which allows us to consider a number of options before making a decision about Thursday’s side. We have included five seam bowlers who have all demonstrated that they are capable of winning Test matches for England.

"Jonny Bairstow has put in a number of impressive performances both for England Lions and Yorkshire and has been working hard on the England Performance Programme over the last couple of years. He is an exciting young player who now has an opportunity to experience the Test environment."

Although Bairstow is untried at Test level, he made an immediate impression in his debut series last summer against India, hitting 41 in 21 balls on his to win the fifth game in Cardiff.

He subsequently toured India, playing all five ODIs and has also played six Twenty20 Internationals.

Graham Onions, Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn are expected to be fighting for one pace bowling slot.

Onions has made a strong start to the season, taking 22 wickets for Durham, Bresnan has yet to lose a Test match in 11 attempts while Finn has 14 wickets to Bresnan's ten this season.

The opening Test begins on 17th May.

England Test squad: Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook (vice-captain), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Graham Onions, Kevin Pietersen, Matthew Prior, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott

© Cricket World 2012