Jonny Bairstow: England batter hits 97 for Yorkshire seconds in injury comeback

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Jonny Bairstow raises his bat after reaching 50
Bairstow last played in a Test against South Africa in August

Jonny Bairstow scored 97 as he made his return from injury for Yorkshire in a second XI game against Nottinghamshire.

He was dropped on 21 off England team-mate Olly Stone and was out when he hit the quick to cover in the 56th over.

The 33-year-old is expected to play for Yorkshire’s first XI next week as he attempts to regain his England place.

England play Ireland on 1 June before the men’s Ashes series begins against Australia on 16 June.

While it was not vintage Bairstow, it was an encouraging first knock after eight months on the sidelines.

Batting at four, he was troubled by Stone after lunch, offering a straightforward chance to second slip that was nevertheless spilled and playing and missing three more times in the space of four balls.

He nicked between keeper and slip on 55 and played the occasional false shot but otherwise looked in decent touch against a modest, inexperienced attack, Stone aside.

Bairstow’s first boundary, a flick off the pads over mid-wicket, came from his 18th ball and he followed that with a pull for four a ball later.

An over before his dismissal the right-hander slog-swept Calvin Harrison for six over mid-wicket and clubbed the leg-spinner over the long-on fence two balls later.

Bairstow was in fine form before his injury, sustained when slipping on a golf course, having scored 1,061 Test runs in 2022, including six centuries.

But his replacement Harry Brook has since secured his position with four hundreds in six Tests at an average of 80.90 during England’s winter.

That means deposing current first-choice wicketkeeper Ben Foakes may be Bairstow’s best chance of returning to the side and Yorkshire director of cricket Darren Gough said Bairstow had indicated a desire to keep wicket when he makes his first-team comeback.

It is expected he will keep wicket at some point during the four-day second XI match, but also field elsewhere.

Yorkshire were 305-5 from 64 overs at tea.


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