England have called Jonny Bairstow as a cover-up for Joe Denly for the upcoming two-match Test series against New Zealand. Incidentally, Denly suffered an ankle injury while training last week and missed the five-match T20I series.
According to England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Denly suffered ligament damage to his right ankle while training ahead of the first T20I last week. Although the 33-year-old took part in some light training on Thursday, including having some throw-downs, England’s management has decided to take precautionary measures.
As a result of which, England have decided to add Jonny Bairstow to the Test squad. Bairstow will remain with the squad after the end of the T20I series which concludes on Sunday (November 10) at Eden Park in Auckland and provide cover for England’s warm-up games.
Meanwhile, Joe Denly has made his way back to the side after an impressive stint during the Ashes series. He hopes to regain fitness for the three-day warm-up match starting from November 15. However, if he misses the cut, it is unlikely that Denly will feature in the first Test at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
Jonny Bairstow was left out of the Test squad for the New Zealand series after a faulty outing in the Ashes squad. He averaged only 23.77 from five matches with just one half-century. Chief selector Ed Smith cited this as an opportunity for Bairstow to reset and come back stronger.
Should Joe Denly fails to regain fitness for the Tests, Bairstow will make a come back sooner.