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Jonny Bairstow Ruled out of First Test Against Sri Lanka Due to Ankle Injury

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: November 4, 2018, 6:05 PM IST
Jonny Bairstow Ruled out of First Test Against Sri Lanka Due to Ankle Injury

England head coach Trevor Bayliss has confirmed that first-choice wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow will miss the first Test against Sri Lanka beginning November 6th in Galle owing to damaged ankle ligaments.

"No, he's not available for this Test match," Bayliss told talkSPORT. "That's as much about looking a little more long term as well. He has come on a long way in the last week or so but with another winter tour and a big summer we didn't necessarily want to risk it."

Bairstow had picked up the injury while playing football ahead of the fourth One-Day International between England and Sri Lanka in Pallekele which forced him to miss the last two games and the only Twenty20 International that followed.

Though the 29-year-old has shown immense recovery in the last few days, being an integral part of all three formats England do not want to risk him especially with a busy schedule ahead.

That would mean either of Jos Buttler, the side's limited-overs keeper, or Ben Foakes, who is widely regarded as one of the best pure wicket-keepers in England, will don the gloves. Bayliss said that a decision on who gets the nod will be taken keeping in mind how the structure of the final XI takes shape.

"They're both still very much in our thinking and that will probably come down to the combination we want to play," he said. "Definitely one of them will be keeping but how we structure the batting order and what combination of bowlers we put in to the team could determine who eventually gets the gloves."

Buttler seems the likelier candidate to get the gloves as that will make space for an extra batsman or bowler to play, but taking into account the Galle surface which is expected to take turn from the outset, the management could well slot in a specialist 'keeper in Foakes.

"We've got to pick a team we think can take 20 wickets on some of these pitches in Sri Lanka. The team we pick for the first Test might be different to the team we pick for the second Test," Bayliss said.
First Published: November 4, 2018, 6:05 PM IST

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