Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow is in line for his test debut at Lord’s on Thursday after being named as the sixth batsman in the squad of thirteen. It is the first test of the three match series against the travelling West Indies side.
He is named ahead of Samit Patel, who made his debut in Sri Lanka in March, and Ravi Bopara who was ruled out with a thigh injury. Yorkshire’s Tim Bresnan is also named in the squad and he faces a battle between Graham Onions and Steven Finn for the final fast bowlers place.
Bairstow, who scored 50 against the West Indies for the England Lions this week, has already had a taste of international cricket having played six ODIs and six T20 internationals. Bairstow keeps wicket for Yorkshire but will not be required with the gloves as Matt Prior is also named in the squad.
National selector Geoff Miller told Cricinfo that, “Jonny Bairstow has put in a number of impressive performances both for England Lions and Yorkshire and has been working hard on the England Performance Programme over the last couple of years. He is an exciting young player who now has an opportunity to experience the Test environment.”
Bresnan has been out of action following an elbow injury and played only one test against Sri Lanka over the winter. But he has been back to near his best recently, taking 5/81 against Gloucestershire and then scoring 38 as Yorkshire successfully chased down 400.
He will hope to be selected ahead of Onions and Finn who have also both been in good county form so far this season. Monty Panesar, who played alongside Graeme Swann as a second spinner in the winter, misses out on selection as the England opt for just one spin bowler.
Squad in full: Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven Finn and Graham Onions.