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Ashes 2023

Reports: Jonny Bairstow to keep wicket in County Championship in bid for Ashes return

Jonny Bairstow to keep wicket for Yorkshire in the 2023 County Championship ahead of Ashes comeback
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Jonny Bairstow is reportedly set to keep wicket for Yorkshire in the early stages of the 2023 County Championship ahead of a potential return to the England Test side.

Bairstow has only kept wicket once in Test matches since 2019, against India in 2021 where he filled in for Jos Buttler, who attended the birth of his child. Since then, Ben Foakes has emerged as England’s first-choice Test match wicketkeeper, with Ollie Pope filling in as backup in Rawalpindi last year.

After his record-breaking home summer, Bairstow has been on the sidelines for the last seven months after breaking his leg in a freak golfing accident.


England enjoyed a dominant Test match winter, their exploits with the bat leaving little room to leave anyone out for Bairstow to come back into the side. Harry Brook has cemented his place in the top five with a glorious run of form in Pakistan and New Zealand, and Pope is set to continue to bat No.3. With Joe Root and Ben Stokes filling in behind, there seems little room for Bairstow to regain his spot in England’s top six.

Aside from an opener spot, Bairstow’s best option to come back into the Test side would be in place of Foakes, despite Foakes’ two half-centuries this winter. While Foakes is well known for his prowess with the gloves, Bairstow is the superior bat.

As Yorkshire begin their Division Two campaign next week (April 6) – in a fixture Bairstow is not expected to feature in as he continues his recovery – the MailOnline have reported that Bairstow is set to feature for them behind the stumps in May. This move is reportedly at the behest of the ECB in preparation for Bairstow to make his Test return with the gloves this summer.

England will face Ireland in a four-day Test match at Lord’s which starts on June 1, before the highly anticipated Ashes series that begins later in the month.

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