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Jonny Bairstow has time on his side for Yorkshire return
York ace Jonny Bairstow can afford to be patient in his quest for a return to Test match cricket, according to Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie.
After making his debut against the West Indies earlier this summer, the exciting wicketkeeper-batsman has been left out of the squads for England’s first two matches against South Africa, including the second Test at Headingley which starts tomorrow.
While it was no great surprise to see Ravi Bopara favoured at number six for the opener at The Oval earlier this month following Bairstow’s scores of 16, four and 18 against the West Indians, it must have been a significant blow to the player when James Taylor was preferred when Bopara was not selected for this week due to personal reasons.
Bairstow had scored a superb 118 for Yorkshire against Leicestershire in the LV= County Championship draw at Grace Road on Saturday, less than 24 hours before the squad was announced.
On the flipside, his exclusion is good news for Yorkshire, who he will play for in the Championship match against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road, starting today.
However, he will not line up alongside fast bowler Steve Harmison, who has been ruled out of the match with a left side injury, which will be scanned by Durham medics upon his immediate return to the North East.
“Jonny, I think, was naturally disappointed (at being left out),” said Gillespie.
“He’s had a quiet little period before this hundred, but I’m sure he’ll get more opportunities because he’s a class player.
“He has just got to go out there and score mountains of runs and make the selectors pick him.”
Bairstow’s knock against the Foxes signalled his only score above 27 in any form, whether it be for club or country, since his 68 against Northants in the Championship at Headingley on May 30.
“There’s no doubt that there’s been a lot of frustration there with Jonny, and he was getting quite down on himself,” said Gillespie.
“He had a lot happening, but we’ve had some really good chats, whether it be with the coaches or some of his team-mates. We’ve been saying ‘just get your head down, put your training in and things will go your way’.
“We all know the class of the lad. We knew it would turn around, and it did with a wonderful hundred. All he needed was an hour at the crease and he’d be away. That’s what happened.”
While the door has not been closed on a potential return to Yorkshire colours for Harmison, the injury picked up at Grace Road looks likely to rule him out for a significant period. He took eight wickets in three Championship matches for the Tykes.
Yorks squad: Gale, Lyth, Root, Jaques, Bairstow, Ballance, McGrath, Rafiq, Rashid, Pyrah, Patterson, Ashraf.