Former England fast bowler Darren Gough insists Yorkshire wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow is finally ready to cement a spot in the Test side.
In 2012, Bairstow replaced the axed Kevin Pietersen for the third Test against South Africa at Lord’s and he responded with innings of 54 and 95.
Since then, he has been in and out of the side, with Bairstow’s batting technique given a tough examination by Mitchell Johnson in Australia last summer.
In his 14 Tests to date, Bairstow averages less than 27, certainly below-par for a top-six batsman but also sub-standard to play as a specialist wicketkeeper.
But Gough is convinced Bairstow, who has been called up to play for England in the Caribbean next month, has matured and is ready to fulfill his potential.
“Jonny Bairstow is a terrific young cricketer who I have known for a long time,” said Gough, who is taking part in the second Ashes Cycle Challenge to raise funds for the Lord’s Taverners in July.
“I think he wasn’t quite ready for Test cricket when he got selected but I think now he is in that zone and knows what is expected.
“He has gone away and worked hard with Yorkshire and won the title. So, if Jonny gets in that first Test he will have to make the place his own.”
To support Gough’s fund-raising efforts visit lordstaverners.org/ashescycle