Cricket: Bairstow ready to move on up

LONDON: England wicket keeper Jonny Bairstow is ready to move up the order if required for the second Test against Sri Lanka as his coach at Yorkshire, Jason Gillespie, compared him to Australia great Adam Gilchrist.

With Ben Stokes ruled out of the match at his Durham home ground because of a left knee injury suffered during England’s crushing innings and 88-run victory in the first Test at Headingley, the home side will have to make at least one change to their team when the second of a three-match series starts in Chester-le-Street on Friday.

Bairstow made 140 batting at number seven at Headingley, his Yorkshire home ground, to lay the platform for England’s win and also held nine catches behind the stumps.

England must decide whether to select Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes, called into the squad on Monday before taking a career-best nine for 46 against Durham at Edgbaston, as a like for like replacement for Stokes or give a debut to Nottinghamshire seamer Jake Ball.

As for his position in England’s batting order, Bairstow said: “I’ll bat wherever. “(Number five) is the position I bat for Yorkshire and keep wicket — so if that opportunity comes up, it comes up.AFP