By playing in Sri Lanka as number 3, Jonny Bairstow is determined to grab the Test opportunity.


In the Test Arena, I can make a major contribution,’ says BairstowOllie Pope will play in the squad after shoulder surgery

“Next week, Jonny Bairstow looks set to make his Test return as No 3 and will do so in the belief that he has “many runs left in the tank” to give England in the longest format. Bairstow, 31, spent a year out of the Test squad after struggling to balance his compelling white-ball form with the tighter protection required against red balls and after relinquishing his preferred position behind the stump People keep saying that I have points, this, that and the other, to prove. To be frank, in the past, I have answered several questions. Now it’s time for me to enjoy heading into a Test match series and enjoy the chance to say, “I really believe my game is as good as it’s ever been. With the work I’ve put in and the runs I’ve got in the tank over the next three, four or however many years, I think I can make a big contribution to English cricket in the Test arena. “I’ve played at No. 3 a few times and I’ve actually done qu.

If it is, so so be it.

It’s a chance and something that I’m looking forward to. That’s the way I’m looking at this.

The role of Bairstow has seemingly been confirmed by his selection for the two-day pre-season game, which begins in Hambantota on Friday morning and serves as the only warm-up game in England before the two-game series begins in Galle on Thursday. ShowTeam Root Zak Crawley, James Bracey, Joe Root (c), Dan Lawrence, Ben Foakes (wk), Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach, Mark Wood, Jimmy Anderson, Matt ParkinsonTeam Buttler Dom Sibley, Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (c & wk), Sam Curran, Dom Bess, Ollie Stone, Stuart Broad, Saqib Mahmood, Mason Crane, Amar VirdiWas this useful? The absence of Moeen Ali, who is isolated with Covid-19, and Chris Woakes, who is also stuck in his room for close contact, means Ollie Pope is a surprise.Pope, 23, is not officially part of the squad after undergoing shoulder surgery last September, but although he is unlikely to play, physios have given him the all-clear to bat as he continues his rehabilitation ahead of next month’s tour of Ind


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