England selectors to consider wicketkeeping role


Trevor Bayliss has indicated England's wicketkeeping position in Tests remains up for grabs, despite Jonny Bairstow's outstanding recent form with the bat.

Bairstow struck centuries in two of the three home Tests against Sri Lanka, having made his first five-day hundred during England's preceding Test series in South Africa, prompting head coach Bayliss to tell Sky Sports: "He's really come of age and looks like he belongs here."

However, while Bayliss has been understandably impressed by Bairstow's run-scoring, he indicated the Yorkshireman's grip on the gloves is not completely secure.

Bairstow is one of three keepers - together with Jos Buttler and Sam Billings - in England's limited-overs squads to face Sri Lanka, while Ben Foakes, 23, could soon come into consideration for Test duty after impressing at Surrey.

"I am a little bit old school," said Bayliss. "I think the best wicketkeeper should be the wicketkeeper.

"Our wicketkeepers are young and inexperienced, I suppose. They are probably batters who are wicketkeepers.

"Personally I believe it is a wicketkeeping position. Ben Foakes is one name that has been mentioned, along with two or three others. From the selectors' point of view, it is something we are going to have to work through and think pretty carefully about."

Bayliss revealed Buttler, who lost his Test place to Bairstow last year, will continue as England's one-day wicketkeeper

"Jos will be the wicketkeeper for the limited-overs games," added the Australian. "He has been in the last few white-ball series.

"Runs could put him back in the frame for the Test side, but the selectors would like to see him score runs in the four-day game to show us he's back in form."

England have again overlooked Stuart Broad for their latest white-ball fixtures, but Bayliss said: "That doesn't mean that it's the end of his one-day career. There are bowlers in there who haven't cemented their spots yet.

"I had a chat with Stuart and told him on this occasion the team has been picked on merit. There is no reason why he couldn't be playing in the Champions Trophy next year or the World Cup in 2019 but just at the moment the selectors feel the bowlers who have been selected deserve their opportunity first."