England’s wicketkeeper-batsman, Jonny Bairstow will feature for the three lions in the second Test in Chennai. Bairstow will return to the England squad after their first Test against India, England batting coach Graham Thorpe said on Friday.
Bairstow had initially been rested for the first two matches of the four-Test series, but Thorpe said that he would be available for the second Test which starts on February 13 in Chennai.
“He is coming after first Test into the squad,” Thorpe said in a virtual interaction with the media on Friday.
Bairstow, who was to earlier play the third and the fourth Tests, will join the team after the first Test. Now, his arrival has been advanced.
Bairstow was rested under England’s rotation system
England had decided to rest Bairstow for the first two Tests as part of England’s rotation system. However, Mark Wood and all-rounder Sam Curran will still stick to this policy and remain unavailable for the initial two Test matches.
The decision to rest Bairstow as per England’s rotation policy was revoked after a number of former England players- Nasser Hussain, Kevin Pietersen, and Michael Vaughan critiqued for not including the former in the playing squad for the initial matches.
England cricket veterans feel that it was unwise to rest him for the initial two matches as he was England’s second-highest run-scorer behind captain Joe Root during their last series in Sri Lanka which they won 2-0. Bairstow had scored 139 runs across four innings in the two-Test series at an average of 46.33.
The first two Tests of the four-match series are to be played in Chennai before the series moves to Ahmedabad. The third Test will be a day-night encounter, beginning February 24.