JONNY BAIRSTOW has been dealt yet another kick in the teeth by the England selectors after being left out of the forthcoming Test tour to Sri Lanka.
The Yorkshireman has been omitted from the 16-man squad that will play Tests in Galle and Colombo next month, ostensibly “rested” according to national selector Ed Smith, but effectively dropped in the latest of a long line of disappointments to befall the 30-year-old batsman/wicketkeeper.
Wicketkeeping duties will instead be contested by Jos Buttler – currently experiencing a dire run of form with the bat at Test level (one fifty in 19 innings) – and Ben Foakes, whose last Test was over a year ago.
James Anderson has also been left out to fully recover from a cracked rib, while Moeen Ali continues to make himself unavailable for Test cricket, giving England a three-pronged spin attack of Dom Bess, Jack Leach and Matt Parkinson with support from Joe Root and Joe Denly.
Keaton Jennings, the Lancashire opener, is also recalled a year after his latest appearance, with both Jennings and Foakes viewed as horses-for-courses selections after previous success in Sri Lanka.
Commenting on Bairstow’s omission, the second Test tour that he has missed this winter after being dropped for the games in New Zealand, Smith said: “Jonny Bairstow has been in England squads across the three formats without a significant break. This two-Test tour presents a good opportunity for Jonny to be rested.”
Jonny Bairstow has been in England squads across the three formats without a significant break. This two-Test tour presents a good opportunity for Jonny to be rested.National selector, Ed Smith
On the touring party as a whole, Smith added: “The selection panel has supported continuity after a successful series victory in South Africa.
“The South Africa tour marked the emergence of a very exciting group of young players, creating a nice balance with an experienced core of senior players.
“That squad is mostly retained, with some tweaks to the squad relevant to injury, rest and the challenges of playing in sub-continent conditions.”
Squad: Root (captain), Bess, Broad, Buttler, Crawley, Curran S, Denly, Foakes, Jennings, Leach, Parkinson, Pope, Sibley, Stokes, Woakes, Wood.