England’s Bairstow hoping to keep wicket in fourth test

(Reuters) – England’s Jonny Bairstow is desperate to keep his place as wicketkeeper for the fourth test against India despite fracturing his middle finger at Trent Bridge last week.

Bairstow’s place in the side was in doubt after the 28-year-old was hurt while keeping during the third test.

Coach Trevor Bayliss said the Yorkshireman could play as a specialist batsman, with Jos Buttler taking over behind the stumps.

“The finger feels good. The swelling has gone down. I’m going to try and keep wicket in training this afternoon as well,” Bairstow told a news conference yesterday.

“You obviously want to play so, if I am not able to keep wicket, then I’d like to think I would play as a specialist batsman.

“But at the same time, I am desperate to try and keep my place as the keeper.”

Bairstow has been England’s leading run scorer in the series with 206 runs at an average of 41.20.

When asked whether he would be expected to step up as a specialist batsman, Bairstow replied: “I think that is quite a bold statement.

“If you look, my stats are better when I am keeping wicket as well, so you are entering uncharted territories when you make bold statements like that.

“I am very keen to keep my spot as keeper, because I like to think it has gone well over the last 38, 39 test matches.”

England all-rounder Chris Woakes has emerged as an injury doubt after missing training yesterday.

“Chris Woakes has tightness in his right quad and has not trained today,” an England and Wales Cricket Board spokesman said.

“We will take a view on his injury tomorrow ahead of our final practice… At this stage, it is not expected that we would bring any additional players into the squad as cover.”

England lead 2-1 but suffered a crushing 203-run defeat in the third test as India fought back after losing the first two games.

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