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Playing time delights Bairstow

Jonny Bairstow speaks to after day three of the tour match at the Sydney Cricket Ground

Jonny Bairstow is enjoying the benefit of time in the middle as he waits to find out if he will be called upon for next week’s opening Ashes Test.

Bairstow is currently featuring in England’s third and final warm-up game as Matt Prior continues to recover from a calf injury.

With the first-choice wicketkeeper’s fitness in doubt, Bairstow is the obvious candidate to step up and assume his position.

The Yorkshireman has been working hard with guru Bruce French and is unsurprisingly unperturbed by the prospect of taking on the role.

“Getting time in the middle is something that’s very important with my batting and keeping,” he told

“Having worked with Bruce over the last three weeks pretty solidly, implementing the things we have been working on in a game situation is key.

“I am really pleased with how the last couple of days have gone. It’s not necessarily been the easiest strip to keep on but it’s something you prepare yourself for.”

It would be easy for Bairstow to take his eye off this assignment and look ahead to potentially featuring in Brisbane. But he is refusing to do so, adding: “I have not even thought that far ahead.

“It is an opportunity for me to go out, keep wicket, bat and hopefully win a game of cricket for England.”

It is a win that will be on the centre of the England players’ minds tomorrow, with the Australia Invitational XI set to resume on 153 for four in their second innings – just 39 runs ahead.

Bairstow, whose 48 was backed up by 75 from county team-mate Joe Root as England posted 418, added: “We are here to win games of cricket.

“Having them where we do is a fantastic position for us to be in. We feel we can bowl them out and we would like to think we can push for a result.

“It is not going to be without hard work as we saw in the first innings; it should be a good day’s cricket tomorrow.”

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