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England Monitoring Jonny Bairstow Fitness for Sri Lanka Tests

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: October 22, 2018, 8:49 AM IST
England Monitoring Jonny Bairstow Fitness for Sri Lanka Tests

Jonny Bairstow. (AFP)

England international Jonny Bairstow will not be available for any of the white ball contests against Sri Lanka during the on-going tour, and is in a race against time to be fit for the Test series. The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed on Sunday that they were monitoring his fitness in the lead up to the three Tests.

"The scans have revealed he has a right ankle ligament injury. He will be monitored and assessed on a daily basis by the England medical team in Sri Lanka and a further update will be given in due course about his fitness ahead of the three-match Test series," the ECB said in a statement.

The wicket-keeper batsman suffered ligament damage when he twisted his ankle in a game of football during a training session.

This opens the door for Alex Hales to cement his spot at the top of the order. Hales will hope to make this chance count as he looks to remind the selectors of his abilities ahead of the home World Cup which is less than seven months away. For Hales though, the task will be extremely difficult as he has the unenviable job of replacing the highest run-scorer in ODIs in the 2018 calendar year. Bairstow reached the thousand-run tally in ODIs (2018) during the rain-curtailed third ODI against Sri Lanka.

Unfortunately for Hales, he has missed one chance already in the fourth ODI when he scored only 12 off 23 balls opening the batting, as England clinched the ODI series.

The fifth and final ODI will be played on Tuesday in Colombo, before the T20 international at the same venue on Saturday.

England will then play two warm-up games before the first Test in Galle beginning November 6 while the second and third Tests will be in Pallekele and Colombo from November 14 and 23 respectively.
First Published: October 22, 2018, 8:19 AM IST

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