Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow. Photo- Twitter
Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow. Photo- Twitter

On Wednesday, England red-ball captain Joe Root said that all-rounder Ben Stokes and wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow could be picked as pure batsmen for the fifth and final Ashes test against Australia.

England lost the 5-match Ashes series by losing the first three games back-to-back. England lost the first match by 9 wickets at the Gabba, the second game by 275 runs at the Adelaide Oval and the third game by an innings and 14 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground. However, they managed to avoid the whitewash with a hard-fought draw in the fourth Test at Sydney Cricket Ground. In the match England’s Stokes, Jos Buttler and Bairstow sustained injuries.

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Jonny Bairstow celebrates hundred at SCG. Photo- EPA
Jonny Bairstow celebrates hundred at SCG. Photo- EPA

After Buttler and Bairstow’s injury, Ollie Pope was given the opportunity to keep wickets at SCG and he took four catches behind the stumps. Buttler after suffering an injury has returned home but Bairstow may not be fit enough to play as keeper in the team.

Meanwhile, Root ahead of the final Test match has said that Bairstow was anyway playing as a batter so he can play the last Test as well if he is in a good physical condition.

“Certainly can pick Ben just as a batter, absolutely, and similarly with Jonny as well,” Root told reporters ahead of the Hobart Test, which starts on Friday.

“He’s (Bairstow) been playing as a batter anyway. So I’d say we’ve got to just see where they’re at, see what their bodies can handle.

“Jonny obviously has huge amounts of experience doing it. We need to see where he is at physically and then off the back of that we can make a decision.”

He Brings In A Lot Of Energy – Joe Root On Sam Billings

England, Joe Root
Joe Root. Image Credits: Twitter

With a lot of injuries, England have added Sam Billings to the squad as a cover and the England captain has said that Billings brings a lot of energy and he will do well if he gets the opportunity to play.

“He brings in a lot of energy. Constantly smiling, he loves his cricket, he’s a great guy to have around the environment and I’m sure if he gets his opportunity he’ll throw everything into his opportunity,” Root said.

“On the back of three very difficult games where we’ve underperformed … to come back and get something from that showed great amount of character, something for us to build on moving forward,” he added.

“We have to play like that more frequently throughout five days, not just on the last day when everything is sort of on the line but from ball one as,” Root concluded.

Australia, England, Pat Cummins, Joe Root
Pat Cummins, Joe Root. Image-Twitter

Meanwhile, the fifth and final Test of the ongoing Ashes is scheduled to begin at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart from January 14

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