Yorkshire’s Bairstow earns England Test call

Jonny Bairstow was this morning named in an England Test squad for the first time.

The 22-year-old Yorkshireman, one of a 13-man squad for next week’s first Investec Test against the West Indies at Lord’s, can expect to bat at number six if selected.

That is highly likely in the absence of Ravi Bopara, who suffered a thigh injury two days ago which appears to have ruled him out of contention.

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There is also a place in the squad for seamers Steve Finn, Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions - as England seek to cover all bases in a pace attack set to be led by James Anderson and a fit-again Stuart Broad.

Bairstow, who has played in six one-day internationals and six Twenty20s for England, is the only player among the 13 yet to be capped at Test level.

Since making a sparkling debut in an ODI against India in Cardiff last September, he has also continued to impress in the longer format this year with two centuries already in Division Two of the LV= County Championship.

If selected on Thursday, Bairstow will emulate his late father as an England Test player. David Bairstow played four Tests for his country between 1979 and 1981.

National selector Geoff Miller said: “Jonny Bairstow has put in a number of impressive performances both for England Lions and Yorkshire and has been working hard on the England Performance Programme over the last couple of years.

“He is an exciting young player, who now has an opportunity to experience the Test environment.”

Miller also explained the presence of five seamers in the 13, as England seek to consolidate their number one Test status in three matches against the Windies.

“We have selected a very strong 13-man squad which allows us to consider a number of options before making a decision about Thursday’s side,” he added.

“We have included five seam bowlers who have all demonstrated that they are capable of winning Test matches for England.”

He acknowledged England’s awkward winter, against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates and then away to Sri Lanka, after reaching the top of the International Cricket Council rankings last summer.

Miller said: “This is an important period for us following a challenging winter where we learnt some valuable lessons, and we are preparing for a highly competitive series against a West Indies side full of quality players.”