England set to recall Jonny Bairstow for must-win T20 matches in New Zealand

Evening Standard
AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

Jonny Bairstow is set for a recall to both England's Twenty20 and Test sides in New Zealand.

Bairstow scored a quickfire 35 in the opening match of the T20 series in Christchurch and was set to be rested until the final game.

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But with the tourists having lost their last two games, including throwing away a match-winning position in Tuesday’s clash in Nelson, they are now 2-1 down in the series and face must-win matches in Napier on Friday followed by Auckland on Sunday.

Captain Eoin Morgan has highlighted his side’s inexperience in the wake of the defeats and is keen to have another mature figure in the team in Bairstow for those games, with either Dawid Malan and James Vince, England’s starring batsmen in the last T20, set to be rested as part of the rotation policy.

Meanwhile, an injury to Joe Denly means England’s selectors are facing a U-turn over Bairstow for the Test series, which gets under way in Tauranga on November 20.

The 30-year-old was not expected to feature in the longer format in New Zealand having averaged just 23.77 during the Ashes across his 10 innings and scoring just one half-century.

As a result, he was dropped but the uncertainty over Denly to play in the opener could yet lead to an unlikely recall for Bairstow.

Denly remains on the sidelines with an ankle injury picked up prior to the start of the T20 series, but has been told he needs to prove his fitness in one of England’s warm-up matches to warrant selection.

Should injury force Denly out, Bairstow would be brought in to bat at No3, although it is thought he will not be called up for wicketkeeping duties, with Jos Buttler holding onto the gloves for the series.

In the T20s, New Zealand will be boosted by the return of fast bowler Trent Boult, while England again look likely to tinker with their emerging side.

They look set to recall Chris Jordan, who spearheaded England’s bowling attack to good effect in the first two games before being rested on Tuesday, while Tom Banton is expected to be given a second chance to open the batting after impressing in an explosive but brief knock of 18 in the last match.

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