Jonny Bairstow ruled out of England’s first Test with Sri Lanka after injuring his ankle playing football… with Jos Buttler or Ben Foakes to keep wicket
- Jonny Bairstow will miss the first Test between England and Sri Lanka in Galle
- Wicketkeeper hasn’t fully recovered from ligament damage in his right ankle
- Bairstow injured himself while playing football during training session
- Jos Buttler will play in the team anyway, but could take the gloves on Tuesday
- However, Ben Foakes could be wicketkeeper to leave Buttler free to bat
England coach Trevor Bayliss has confirmed Jonny Bairstow will miss Tuesday’s first Test against Sri Lanka but remains unsure who will replace him as wicketkeeper.
Bairstow suffered ligament damage in his right ankle playing football during the one-day leg of the tour and despite making good progress he will not be be ready for Galle.
Jos Buttler will play regardless and could take the over behind the stumps but there is also a temptation to give a debut to Ben Foakes, rated as the best worker on the county circuit.
Jonny Bairstow will miss England’s first Test with Sri Lanka because of an ankle injury
The wicketkeeper injured his ankle playing football during a training session on October 19
Bairstow is back in training with England but won’t be fit enough for the first Test in Galle
England train on Sunday in Galle ahead of the start of the first Test on Tuesday
In interviews with Test Match Special and talkSPORT, Bayliss said: ‘Jonny is not available for this Test match.
‘He has come on a long way in the last week or so but with another winter tour and a big summer we didn’t necessarily want to risk it.’
Buttler admitted last week he was unhappy with his own glovework when he kept during the one-day series, raising Foakes’ hopes.
Jos Buttler, seen here keeping wicket in a warm-up match last week, could take the gloves
Ben Foakes, who also gained some practice last week, is another possibility in the role
SRI LANKA V ENGLAND
First Test – Galle
Second Test – Pallekele
Third Test – Colombo
Both players went through training drills on the outfield after net practice and it appears a final verdict will have to wait.
‘They’re both still very much in our thinking and that will probably come down to the combination we want to play,’ said Bayliss.
‘Definitely one of them will be keeping but how we structure the batting order and what combination of bowlers we put in to the team could determine who eventually gets the gloves.’
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