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York's Jonny Bairstow can pass Ashes test reckons Yorkshire chief
YORKSHIRE'S director of professional cricket, Martyn Moxon, believes Jonny Bairstow is close to cementing his Test place.
York ace Bairstow flew out to Australia last night with the England squad for the defence of the Ashes, but did so having missed out on one of the 11 central contracts awarded by the ECB on Tuesday.
Although not being centrally contracted does not affect his England chances one bit, it is an indicator that things have not quite gone as well in international cricket as the 24-year-old would have liked.
The exciting wicketkeeper-batsman has not yet stamped his authority on Test cricket in the 12 matches he has played since debuting in May last year, and has only played seven one-day internationals since September 2011.
He also missed out on the most recent summer’s Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand and Australia.
Bairstow played in the last five LV= County Championship matches of 2013 for his county, scoring two half-centuries in eight innings.
His last two innings against Surrey at the Oval brought him 24 and 35, and Moxon said: “All he needs is a good innings and he’ll be away.
“Things haven’t quite worked out for him. He didn’t play that much in India last winter and played a little bit more in New Zealand. When he did play, it was when not having played for a while. That’s not easy.
“I’m still absolutely convinced Jonny’s got a big future ahead of him. I’m sure his time will come.
“The signs at the Oval were encouraging. The way he batted for us in that last week of the season was a good sign. Hopefully he will get his chance this winter.”
The smart money would be on Bairstow getting first crack at the number six spot in the team for next month’s first Test at Brisbane. If that happens, it will mean disappointment for county colleague Gary Ballance.
“There’s nothing we can do about it, so whoever gets picked, hopefully they’ll do well,” said Moxon.
Yorkshire have two of the 11 players named in the central contract list for 2013/14 in first-timer Joe Root and Tim Bresnan, although that still does not mean the White Rose will have the final say on when Bairstow is available as he has an incremental contract with the ECB.
“As far as control, it doesn’t make too much of a difference whether they’ve got central contracts or not,” added Moxon. “The only thing that changes is you don’t have to pay them.
“From a financial point of view, it would have been good to have had all three centrally contracted.
“The fact that Rooty’s got a central contract would suggest he is going to continue to be involved in all cricket that England play. So we’ll pretty much plan to be without him.
“A lot will depend on what happens this winter as to how much Jonny is available to us next summer. By January, I would have thought we’ll have a good idea of how much we’ll see of him or not.”
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