Team comes first - Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow will not be sulking should he miss out on selection for the first Test against India in Ahmedabad.
After making 95 and 54 in England’s previous five-day outing, versus South Africa at Lord’s, the Yorkshire wicketkeeper-batsman today struck 118 as the tourists recovered from 66 for four to reach 338 for six against Mumbai A at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy.
Despite such an impressive display on the opening day of this second warm-up game, for which England rested several players, Bairstow is aware he faces a stiff task to secure a Test place.
Samit Patel, a centurion against India A, continued his fine form with an unbeaten 59, while Eoin Morgan, another contender for a middle-order Test berth, contributed 76 to a fifth-wicket stand of 156.
Their efforts, together with the return of Kevin Pietersen to England’s squad, prompted Bairstow to reason: “There’s a massive amount of competition in that middle order, but there’s only 11 people who can play.
“If at the end of the day the balance of the side means you miss out, then so be it. You keep working hard, and if you’re not selected spend the Test in the nets.
“I’d be pleased if I did get the call, but the balance of the team is the most important thing.
“Samit is obviously in good form, coming off a century and getting runs today as well - which is brilliant to see. Morgy is as well, so I wouldn’t like to be in the position of the people above.”
Asked if he would feel hard done by should he be omitted for the first Test, Bairstow added: “I wouldn’t say hard done by, because at the end of the day the team comes first.
“If it’s right for someone else to get picked in front of you for the sake of the team, then so be it.
“I can only score as many runs as I can, work as hard as I can in the nets and do everything in my power to put my case forward for that final selection.”