The 29-year-old suffered ligament damage on his ankle while playing football in training and is set to miss the lone T20I clash against Sri Lanka on Saturday. It is not yet clear if he will return for the first of three Test matches, which starts on November 6.
Foakes has long been regarded as the best pure wicketkeeper in county cricket, and even toured Australia and New Zealand last winter with England as Bairstow’s back-up. He was named in England's Test squad for the 2017-18 Ashes series, though he did not end up playing.
The 25-year-old averages over 40 in first-class cricket, and won the County Championship this season with Surrey.
Opener Alex Hales replaced Bairstow for last Saturday's ODI win over Sri Lanka, giving England a series-winning 3-0 lead, which they eventually lost 3-1.
Bairstow's absence will put immense pressure on an inconsistent batting line-up, as England will embark on a Test series without Alastair Cook for the first time in almost 13 years. If their regular wicketkeeper is unavailable, Jos Buttler is likely to take the gloves, with Foakes featuring in the playing XI as a pure batsman.
alastair cookAlex HalesBen FoakesEnglandEngland vs Sri LankaJonny BairstowSri Lanka vs Englandsri lanka vs england 2018
First Published: October 26, 2018, 11:30 AM IST