Jonny Bairstow, who was left out of the England Test side on their tour of New Zealand, has been called back up as cover for Joe Denly, who is recovering from ligament damage to his right ankle.
Initially supposed to fly back to England after the ongoing five-match Twenty20 International series, Bairstow will instead stay back with the team for at least the two warm-up matches in the lead-up to the Test series.
Denly, who picked up the injury ahead of the first T20I, is optimistic about recovering in time to participate in the three-day warm-up match against New Zealand XI, starting 15 November in Whangerei.
Bairstow’s recent returns in Test cricket have been rather lean. In nine Tests in 2019, he has scored 324 runs at an average of 20.25. In the 2019 Ashes, England’s most recent series, he averaged 23.77 over five Tests while registering only one 50.
He lost his place in the side following the Ashes with England deciding to go with Jos Buttler as their main wicket-keeping option. Bairstow, however, may end up returning to the team sooner than he’d have expected and get the chance to improve on his recent numbers.